Hockey is a big deal in the Indigenous Canadian community. Every community has a hockey team, and kids grow up aspiring to play for their team one day. Saul is proud to play with the Moose, and he also enjoys traveling to other Indigenous Canadian reservations for games.
Although hockey is a traditionally European game, Indigenous Canadians love it and excel at it. This emphasizes the point that not all forms of cultural exchange between European Canadians and Indigenous Canadians are necessarily harmful.
Saul also likes his adopted parents, Fred Kelly and Martha Kelly. He gets along with his brother, Virgil, who becomes his “closest ally.” Virgil helps Saul study for school, and encourages him to work hard and succeed.
Saul’s life seems to be moving in the right direction: he’s excelling at his sport, and he also seems to have found a surrogate family in the Kellys.
During his second winter in his new community, Saul begins waking up early and practicing hockey with Virgil. Nearly everyone Saul plays hockey with is bigger than he is, but this makes Saul a better player in the long run. He continues to feel a “purity of motion” when he skates along the ice—a sense of freedom that he doesn’t experience at any other time.
Saul embraces every challenge he comes across on the rink, knowing that it will strengthen him. Hockey remains one of the greatest sources of pleasure in his life.