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INDIAN HORSE: chapter 11-18
Transcript of INDIAN HORSE: chapter 11-18
by RICHARD WAGAMESE
Saul arrives at St. Jerome's Indian Residential School
Saul and another Native boy are stripped, bathed and dressed by a nun and a priest
The nun accepts Saul's name however they change the name of Lonnie Rabbit
Lonnie attempts to defend his Native culture, however the nun beats him with a leather paddle until he agrees with her
Saul is seen as an outsider because he speaks English
Arden Little Light commits suicide
Sheila Jack gets sent to the "Crazy House"
Shane Big Canoe gets locked in the Iron Sister
St. Jerome's Indian Residential School
"I was lonely for the sky, for the feel of it on my face." (43)
"American Indians at European Contact." NCpedia Home Page. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. <http://ncpedia.org/history/early/contact>.
"The Residential School System." The Residential School System. Web. 7 Nov. 2014. <http://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/home/government-policy/the-residential-school-system.html>.
Wagamese, Richard. Indian Horse: A Novel. Vancouver, BC: Douglas & McIntyre, 2012. Print.
Emma, Andrea and Cynthia
Saul and other students escape the school and go to a ridge
They reminisce about their Native culture
Saul witnesses death in many forms within the school
Father Gaston Leboutilier introduces Saul to hockey
Saul becomes close with the Priest and develops an interest for hockey
Saul is originally not allowed to play hockey since he is too small
He asks to clean the rink
Saul begins to secretly teach himself how to play hockey and he becomes very skilled
Saul volunteers to play on the team when a player gets injured
Saul is no longer
Emotionally and mentally scarred
Is starting to lose native identity
Lonely for his ability to speak English
Saul later finds an interest in hockey
Name is changed to Aaron to be more biblical
Beaten because he was attempting to stand up for his Native identity
Enforces Christian faith
Against the beliefs and culture of Indians
Arden Little Light
Skinny, Oji-creed child
Had chronic runny nose and his hands were tied behind his back
He committed suicide
Strong Native, in line to be Shaman of her family
The school destroyed her since she was not allowed to speak
Sent to the "Crazy House"
Shane Big Canoe
Metis from Saskatchewan
Attempted to run away
Sent to the "Iron Sister"
Believes that residential school prepares Native children for the world
Has strict Catholic values
Father Gaston Leboutilier
Young priest with sense humour
Saul considers him an ally
Boys are drawn to him because of his kindness and sense of adventure
Shabogeesick: Saul's great grandfather
The world spoke to him and told him where to look
Saul believed he was given this gift through his great grandfather
The sky symbolizes freedom of the Native culture
This quote is subsequent to Saul being captured into the residential school system
"... the world I had known was replaced by an ominous black cloud." (47)
"ominous black cloud" symbolizes the event of the residential school through dark imagery
Dark imagery is used to show the unfortunate situation
"St. Germ's" (48)
Germ symbolizes the unwanted spreading of Catholicism, as if it was a germ for the Native culture
Also symbolizes the spreading of diseases
Saul's new found interest in hockey may symbolize the Native interest in European goods upon the arrival of the settlers
Native Interest in Trading Goods
The availability of European goods was one of the big changes for the Native culture
The Aboriginals were very interested in metal tools and firearms
The desire for European goods changed the Native's traditional trading patterns
Europeans also brought rum
"... the light was pale and gave off a feeling of cold even though the radiators pulsed heat outward in waves" (44)
"'Good, honest work and study. That's what you'll do here. That's what will prepare you for the world.'" (47)
Refers to school system set up by Canadian gov. and administered by Catholic Church
Operated from 1880s to end of the 20th century
Children were separated from their families and were forbid to speak their native language or acknowledge their native culture
Students experienced physical, sexual, emotional and psychological abuse
"I read once that there are holes in the universe that swallow all light, all bodies. St.Jerome's took all the light from my world." (43)
"I saw kids die of tuberculosis, influenza, pneumonia, and broken hearts..."(55)
"We were Indian kids and all we had was the smell of those fish on our hands"(54)
"I don't want no other father...I'll run"(46)
"At St. Jerome's we work to remove Indian from our children so that the blessings of the Lord may be evidenced upon them"(46-47)
Picture of a residential school drawn by a student
Quote page 43
Bedroom of a residential school, similar to the description of Saul's
"Good, honest work and earnest study. That's what you'll do here. That's what will prepare you for the world"(47)
"There's no other explanation for how I was able to see this foreign game so competitively right away."(58)
"I saw bodies hung from rafters on these ropes...I watched a girl calmly fill the pockets of her apron with rocks, went to the creek, sat on the bottom and drowned."(55)
Saul witnesses kids dying all around him especially when he comes to the school
Could bring back memories of his brother?
Loss of Culture
Saul vs. Peers
"We fell asleep that night with our noses pressed to our hands and as the days went by the smell of those suckers faded, there wasn't a one of us that didn't cry for the loss of the life we'd known before."(54)
When the kids went to the creek and saw the fish they used to catch for food with their families, it was like coming home
"At St. Germ's the kids call me 'Zhaunagush' because I could speak and read English." (48)
Saul was not allowed to play hockey but he learned the rules and taught himself how to play so when the opportunity came he was ready
"I made sure my stick made no sound against the ice, lest somebody discover me there. When the first turd eventually broke apart, I'd take another and march up ice again with a substitute."(67)
Students vs. Catholic Authority
"But we're going to have to do something about Lonnie Rabbit. I think Aaron is more suitable. From now on you are Aaron rabbit. Do you understand?"
"But Lonnie is my dad's name."
"Well the Lord God is you're father now and he wants you called Aaron."
" But I got a father."
"Your father is the Heavenly Father. You will learn that here. Your human father has nothing to offer you anymore." (45)
"It felt as though they were trying to remove our skin." (44)
Saul vs. Himself
What I let them
see was a quite,
withdrawn boy, void
of feeling." (55)
"Inside, the smell of bleach and disinfectant, so strong it seemed to peel the skin off the inside of my nose. The floors were hardwood, sallow from decades of mopping and scrubbing... The fourth floor was one big room with windows at each side. Between them a see of cots, all folded and tucked in exactly the same manner." (44)
What are some other literary devices used from chapters 11 to 18?
With the arrival of the European settlers, Canada has modernized. What do you think would be a better approach for the settlers to aid the Natives so that they can adapt into the ways of modern society?
How would you feel if your identity was being stripped away from you?
Why do you think the government felt that it was necessary to start residential schools?
"Thousands of Canada's aboriginal children died in residential schools that failed to keep them safe from fires, protected them from abusers, and healthy from disease, a commission into the saga has found."(National Post, 2014)
"At Least 4,000 Aboriginal Children Died in Residential Schools, Commission Finds." National Post. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2014. <http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/01/03/at-least-4000-aboriginal-children-died-in-residential-schools-commission-finds/>.