Wednesday, May 16, 2018

June 2018: Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese

Meeting Details: We'll be meeting on 
Thursday, June 28th at Tessa's house.

Discussion Questions:

1) Did you enjoy the book?  Why or why not?

2) The story is told as a first person narrative. How do you react to Saul? Do your attitudes to him change during the novel, and if so, what brings about these changes?

3) To which character(s) in the novel, other than Saul, do you react most strongly? Reflect on your reactions and the possible reasons for them

4) The novel vividly describes the effects on Saul when he is sent to a residential school: “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)   How did reading the novel change your understanding of the residential school system and its lasting effects?

5) “One who loves does not brandish fear or require it” (26) What insights into Aboriginal spirituality do you gain from the novel? “Where is God now, then?” I asked (92)  Where do you find God in this story?

6) Richard Wagamese writes poetically about hockey, describing it as the “snow white stage”. What does hockey mean to Saul? Are all his hockey experiences positive? 

7) Racism is a very grim reality for Saul.  Give a few examples of racism in the book - how does Saul react to this racism?  While it is tempting to believe that these attitudes are no longer prevalent, examples can be found in many places. Reflect on examples of stereotyping or racism that you have experienced directly, have heard about from friends, or have witnessed in the media or other sources.

8) Richard Wagamese is an accomplished storyteller who has performed across the country. Was there one example of excellent story-telling in the book that you found particularly effective?

9) In reading Indian Horse, what did you learn about Indigenous peoples in Canada that you did not know before? 

10) “They scooped out our insides, Saul. We are not responsible for that. We are not responsible for what happened to us. None of us are,” Fred said. “But our healing – that’s up to us.” (210) What you do think "reconciliation" means?  How can we as individuals, Christians and as Canadians, be part of the healing?

11) What role does redemption play in Indian Horse?   The book begins with the idea of storytelling: “They say I can’t understand where I’m going if I don’t understand where I’ve been . . .”(2)   How does story-telling play a role in redemption?

12) Richard Wagamese has said that Indian Horse “…was a story clamoring to be told in a way that was empowering – that was not preachy, threatening or guilt inducing.” Do you feel Indian Horse is, in fact, a story told in a way that is empowering and not preachy, threatening or guilt inducing? Why or why not?

13) Would would recommend this book?  To whom and why or why not?

Many of the questions taken from 
(which also has some good background info about the book, if you're interested) and 

Menu: Ma's First Rule is Food.

Martha Kelly believes in feeding growing boys well... the food's not fancy, but it's simple stick-to-your ribs fare made with what's locally available.  Her husband says about her: "Ma's first rule is food.  She cooks up a storm too."  And every serious hockey player knows that a meal should have as many parts as a hockey game!

For a smaller crowd, we may want to consider skipping the second period and going straight from First Period appetizers to Third Period desserts!

First Period:
Potato, Leek and Bacon Soup

Second Period:
Fried fish
Fried onions and potatoes
Baked beans (canned is fine!)
Fresh bread

Third Period:
Blueberry Cobbler
Ice Cream

Chocolate Brownies

Reminder: Please take a few minutes to check out our book choices for Sept-December (posted below) so that we can choose books at the June meeting. 


  1. I'll bring chocolate cheesecake instead of the brownies, if that's okay...

    1. Um, no I won't... I'll be in Ottawa with the grade 7/8 trip that week, so I guess I'll be missing this meeting, too. :(

  2. I will bring the blueberry cobbler and ice cream!

  3. I am hoping to be there, and I will bring some bread (or bannock) and some pickles to go with the soup


Tell us what you think!