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Indian Horse Ticket-In, Week One: The Struggle for Identity (pages 1-52)

Answer the following questions as you read the novel:

1. In the beginning of the novel, what does the narrator say is needed for people to
understand who they are?
2. What are three examples of ways the Zhaunagush try to control First Nations people by
deciding what they will be called?
3. Why did Gods lake belong to the Indian Horse family?
4. What are the things Sauls family does at the Lake that help establish who they are?
5. What is an example of Sauls family fighting about what their identity should be?
6. What is the mission of the residential school?
7. What are three ways the residential school tries to control the First Nations children?
SECTION 1: Think about how Sauls grandmother tries to maintain their old ways. Think, as well,
about how others, like Sauls mother, the government, and religious figures try to stop them
from doing so. Using her and Saul as an example, what are some ways the novel suggests those
with power try to control identity?
SECTION 2: Write about a time in your life when someone tried to control your identity (how
you and other saw yourself). As you tell the story, explain how this persons attempt to control
your identity could be seen as an attempt to gain power over you?

Answer the following questions as you read the novel:
1. Why did taking the fish out of the creek cause the kids to cry?
2. Why did Saul decide he wouldnt let the nuns and priests hear him cry?
3. On page 62, Saul explains why the dream of hockey means so much to him. Put his explanation
into your own words.
4. What does Saul say is the way to honour Mystery?
5. On page 73, Saul talks about why hockey is so important to him. What does he say?
6. When is a time you have put a lot of time into something because it allowed you to forget your
own circumstances for a while?
7. How are the kids treated at the school? How would this treatment lead to them feeling so
isolated and alone?
8. What are three ways the society around Saul ensures he feels alone and/or less-than-human?
9. Even though the Moose treat him roughly during his first scrimmage, why does Saul feel grateful
for this?
10. How do the Moose, in the end, show Saul they accept him? How is this different from the way
most of us would expect to be treated if we were accepted?
Section 1: What does the novel suggest are the causes and consequences of feeling isolated?
Before your write section 2, think about the following: What was your experience with the social media
challenge? How do your own ideas and experiences with the challenge compare to the ideas of others?
What are some of the reasons why people did or did not do well with this challenge?
Section 2: Using the ideas from section 1, discuss how your, and your classmates, experiences with the
social media challenge relate to the ideas about isolation in the novel. Talk about a time you felt isolated
and discuss how it connects to the experiences of Saul. What is an insight into this experience the novel

TICKET-IN #3: The Fight To Control Our Identity, Part 2 (pages 108-157)
1. What are three quotations from 109-144 of the novel that suggest everyone in the First Nations,
spectators and players, feel equal and like they belong?
2. How does the Mooses behaviour change when they get ready to play Kapuskasing? Why does it
3. These were Indian boys. They may have been lumberjacks and mine workers when they
werent playing the game, but concrete arenas and carpeted dressing rooms intimidated them
(122). Why do you think the arenas and dressing rooms intimidated the players on the Moose?
4. How does the crowd respond to Sauls performance?
5. According to Virgil, why do white people play the game? What is wrong, in his eyes, about the
way they view the game?
6. Why does Saul consistently decide not to fight?
7. What starts being the primary motivation for Saul and his teammates to achieve?
8. How can the scene in which each member of the Moose is beaten up one at a time be seen as
an example of one group trying to control the way another group sees itself?
9. Why does Virgil tell Saul that he has to try to make the Marlies?

Blog # 3
Section 1: Making between 3-5 specific references to the novel, discuss places in the novel
where we see conflict arising from characters or groups attempting to control the identity (how
a person sees him/herself) of another character, or group.
Section 2: Tell the story of a time you got involved in a conflict with someone else. Tell the story
of this conflict, then explain how this conflict can be understood as a struggle for control over


1. Why do you think books gave Saul such a sense of security?
2. What is most hurtful about the way the elite players treat Saul? Why did this hurt so much?
3. What does Saul feel people wont let him just be? What do they see him as instead?
4. What do the players do to show Saul doesnt belong? What is it they want him to do?
5. Why does Saul eventually start fighting?
6. In Chapter 40, Saul says We sat in the dark, and there were no more words. The silence was
enough (171). Why do you think he find such comfort in the darkness?
7. At the logging camp, where does Saul find peace?
8. Why doesnt Saul react to the racist comments the loggers make? What is it that eventually
causes him to fight?
9. On page 181, Saul says . . .I discovered that being someone you are not is often easier than
living with the person you are. Do you understand what he means? How much do you agree
with this statement?
10. What does Saul finally discover is the reason for his rage? What is his explanation for why he
began fighting?
11. What are three things Saul does in order to reclaim a sense of dignity and pride in who he is?

Blog #4
Section 1: Making between 3-5 specific references to the novel, discuss places in the novel where we
see Saul lying to others and, more importantly, to himself. Some questions to consider are: What is the
truth he is hiding from? How does he hide this truth from himself? What does he have to do in order to
deal with this truth? In this response, be sure to explain the link between lying and feelings of
Section 2: Write about a time where you successfully lied to yourself, or to someone else. How could
this lie be explained as a reaction to feeling powerless, or less powerful than the person to whom you
were lying? In what way did the lie hide this imbalance in the power dynamic?

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