Indian Horse Plot Saul Indian Horse is in a rehabilitation centre called New Dawn He is forced to tell his story “I can’t understand where I’m going if I don’t understand who I am.” (2) Indian Horse is Saul’s great-grandfather who brought the horse to the Ojibway people of The Indian Horse family is history/narrative is relayed Plot Rachel, Saul’s sister is taken away from the Indian Horse family when she is six: “Them, they had a boat with a motor and when they rounded the bend in the river I though how fast things can vanish from our view.” (9) Saul learns English from his father Benjamin is taken which results in his parents becoming distant and depending on alcohol to survive Plot When Benjamin escapes from residential school and he has TB What does the TB signify to you? Naomi takes them to Gods Lake to reconnect with their ancestry While there, Saul sees a vision of his ancestors and realizes that his people died there When they return Ben’s condition worsens and he passes away Plot Saul’s parents leave and he and his grandmother are left to fend for themselves During the winter they are forced to move seeking Minaki and Naomi dies with Saul in her arms Saul is taken away “If our canoe hadn’t hit that boulder we would have made it to Minaki.” (42) Fate? Character Saul Personal struggle apparent in his attendance at the New Dawn Centre Shabogeesick – Slanting eye Saul’s great-grandfather: shaman, trapper “and because he spent so much time out on the land, it told him things, spoke to him of mysteries and teachings. They say he had the sending thought, the great gift of the original teachings” Provides a sense of the Ojibway culture and respect for intuition and spiritual nature of the Ojibway people Characters Naomi: grandmother, matriarch “She was the matriarch of the small band of people I was born to” (8) Rachel: Saul’s sister Dies in residential school Benjamin: Saul’s Brother Gets TB in Residential school and is brought back to die ○ “He was bug-bit and thin, taller than when we’d last seen him. His hair was cropped closed to his skin and his ill-fitting clothes were made even looser by the weight he’d lost on the journey. For a moment no one new who he was.” (16) Character He is not given much of a voice What is the significance of this? Ghost-like figure that haunts the family Characters Saul’s mother Wavers between despising the Zhaunagush and adhering to their ways (in Benjamin’s death) Saul’s Father Takes a secondary role to characters but we see him through his reactions ○ “My father pinched his lips together and rocked on the balls of his feet. I could sense the struggle in him” (32) Characters Does this give power to the women in Saul’s life ○ “My mother walked to my father and took his hand and led him away from the fire” Collectively Saul’s parents are distant from him – is this protective? Symbolism New Dawn Centre Centre for hope that is reflective of the Ojibway culture ○ “The counsellors here say Creator and the Grandmothers and the Grandfathers want me to live” (2) Indian Horse Strength ○ “It was massive. Huge as a moose, but without antlers, and the sound of its hoofs on the ground was that of drums. It was like a great wind through a fissure in rock. People shrank from the sight of it.” (4) Symbols Indian Horse continued “The animals spread north through intertribal trade and raiding, reaching the Canadian Plains by the 1730s. The use of horses altered hunting techniques and enabled the people to transport larger and more comfortably furnished dwellings.” (Aboriginal People: Plains) What is the significance of the horse within this text Symbolism Alcohol A mode of coping but more importantly, this is a symbol of the destruction of the Zhaunagush ○ “When they returned they brought the white man with them in the brown bottle” (11) ○ Also symbolic of the white man himself TB “’The coughing sick,’ she said to us. ‘He got it from the school’” (16) Symbols Rosary “’We should pray with the rosary’… ‘That school gave you works that do not apply to us.’ my grandmother said. ‘Out here there his no need to keep the spirit bond to fear.’” (26) The mix of the two cultures has caused a conflict Setting New Dawn Centre A place of hope Gods Lake A place made specifically for the Indian Horse family Does this represent a respite? The place where Benjamin returns to in his death Saul sees his family here Setting Gods Lake Powerful imagery used ○ “Every morning I could flip back he flap of the tent my brother and I shared and see the water and the opposite shore, the mist off it dreamlike.” (21) ○ “I fell to the ground as the rumbling grew louder. A cloud of dust rolled over me. When the rumble had subsided, the silence was so deep it scared me…The face of the cliff had collapsed, and the camp was gone. Vanished.” (24) Mysterious Conflict Saul vs. his parents “I could feel the chasm between the three of us and the others as if it were a living thing. There seemed no way to cross the distance.” (30) Ojibway vs. Alcohol “Both my parents had taken to the Zhauagush drink, and we left in pursuit of it.” (13) Conflict Ojibway vs. Residential school “In 1957, when I was four, they got my brother, Benjamin…The airplane came out of the west…but then my brother had no where to go…they had guns,” (10-11) Violence Indian Horses vs. Themselves As noted there is conflict between Naomi’s expectations and Saul’s parents mental state Theme Loss “She was lost to me then.” (11) ○ Saul’s mother is overcome with grief over the loss of her first two children ○ The loss extends to those that are with her, not yet gone Theme Culture “’Before the changes the Zhaunagush brought, the people would make mamaawashKawipidoon, rice ties…It teaches us to remember that rice is a gift of the creator’” (25) “As the edible rice seeds began to mature, families marked the area they would harvest by tying the rice stalks together, using knots or dyed rope that would distinguish their claim. The rice harvest was a time of comunity celebration, starting ….” (Roy) Ojibway Culture Ojibway Culture “The Ojibway were not people of the horse. Our land existed as an untamed thing, lakes, rivers, bogs and marshes surround by citadels of bush and rock and the labyrinthine weave of the country. We had no need tof maps to understand it.” (Wagamese 4) Ojibway Culture and Terms “The Ojibwa call themselves the Anishinabeg (also spelled Anishinaabeg, or if singular, Anishinabe) for "first" or "original people.” (Roy) “After successfully helping Europeans acquire territory from the Fox and the Sioux, the Ojibwa grew and divided into four groups, one of which was the plains Ojibwa” (Roy) Ojibway Culture The fundamental essence of Anishinabe life is unity. The oneness of all things. In our view history is expressed in the way that life is lived each day. Key to this is the belief that harmony with all created things has been achieved. The people cannot be separated from the land with its cycle of seasons or from the other mysterious cycles of living things - of birth and growth and death and new birth.”(Ojibwe.org) Ojibway Culture Maymaygwayseeuk – water god “When the sun was warm and the song of the wind could be heardin the rustle of the trees, our people said tha the Maymaygwayseeuk, the water spirits, had come out to dance” (4) Ojibway Spirituality "Mamoonin: The Sacred Food” Shaman: “Besides the traditional medicine and healing abilities, the Ojibwa shaman could be seen as a multidimensional caretaker.” (Shamanism) Works Cited “Aboriginal People: Plains”. Historica Canada.http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/aboriginalpeople-plains/ 2 Nov 2014. Ahni Schertow, John. “Manoomin: The Sacred Food”. IC Magazine. https://intercontinentalcry.org/manoomin-the-sacred-food/. 2 Nov 2014. “Shamanism”. The Ojibwa Nation: Shamanism, Food and Traditions. http://ojibwanation.blogspot.ca. 2 Nov 2014. Roy, Loriene. “Ojibwa”. Every Culture. http://www.everyculture.com/multi/Le-Pa/Ojibwa.html. 1 Nov 2014. “The Ojibwa Nation: Shamanism, Food and Traditions.” Ojibwa Nation. http://ojibwanation.blogspot.ca. 2 Nov 2014. Wagamese, Richard. Indian Horse. Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre, 2012.