Indian Horse


Richard Wagamese

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Indian Horse: Chapter 56 Summary & Analysis

That night, Saul goes to the hockey rink with a used pair of skates and a hockey stick. Although he hasn’t skated in a long time, he gets back into the swing of it quickly enough. Before long, he’s moving fast, laughing, and shouting with joy.
Saul shows up for the hockey match, signifying that he’s willing to settle back into his old community again. Surrounded by friends, family, and the sport of hockey, Saul stands a better chance of living a happy life than he would as a lonely alcoholic.
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In the midst of the game, Saul turns and sees that Virgil, Fred, and Martha have been watching him play. Behind Virgil stand several of the original Moose team members, some of whom have their wives and children with them. Virgil and his old teammates get out on the ice, along with a large group of other people that Saul doesn't recognize. There are so many people in the rink that Saul asks “How are we gonna play the game?” Virgil laughs and says, “Together. Like we shoulda all along.” Saul smiles. He loses the first faceoff to Virgil, but doesn’t care.
Saul has found a new community for himself. This community is very different from the one he grew up in, but it, too, is composed of Indigenous Canadians. As Saul begins to move on with his life, he seems to balance his tribal traditions with the realities of contemporary Canadian life (or put another way, he keeps Gods Lake within himself, even while he plays hockey). Moreover, Saul shows every sign of embracing his new community, recognizing that he’s at his happiest when he’s with friends and family.
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