Indian Horse


Richard Wagamese

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Indian Horse: Chapter 51 Summary & Analysis

The next afternoon, Saul reaches Gods Lake. He docks his boat and comes ashore. There, he begins to see a huge flotilla of canoes, carrying his family. Suddenly, Saul finds himself face-to-face with his great grandfather, Slanting Sky. Saul begs his great-grandfather, “What am I to learn here?” His great-grandfather replies that Saul must learn to carry Gods Lake within himself.
Saul experiences another vision. In this vision, he is given a clear message (even if it’s unclear exactly what it means to carry Gods Lake within himself). Perhaps Slanting Sky is urging Saul to remember his Indigenous roots and honor the memories of his family members. By writing down his life’s story, Saul has begun to do exactly this.
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Saul begins to weep so profusely that he falls to his knees. After weeping for what feels like hours, he hears his name. Looking up, Saul sees only the moon. Suddenly calm, Saul offers thanks “aloud in an Ojibway prayer.”
This experience is clearly cathartic for Saul—meaning that he experiences strong emotions in a way that effectively “purges” him of those emotions, pointing the way toward further growth and healing. Saul experiences a lot of pain in this scene, but afterwards he seems calm and optimistic for the future. He also lives up to his ancestors’ command by honoring his Indigenous heritage when he says an Ojibway prayer.
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