The main character, Saul, is born as an Aboriginal. Due to that reason he undergoes many restrictions throughout his life mainly because of his nationality and cultural beliefs. The novel `Indian Horse written by Richard Wagamese presents the protagonist as the type of prejudice that annihilates an individual’s safeguard against possible hardship or adversity. This demonstrates that Aboriginals are seen as illiterate folks and savages. It suggests that caucasian are unable to accept other cultures therefore spreading their culture of Christianity which may decrease the inner monster inside of them, as that is what they follow. The story itself presents racist remarks to minority groups.
To begin with, the novel is written in a way so that there is an ignorant system which opposes diversity and inclusion. In fact, the main character, Saul, presumes Aboriginals are
segregated and lack the opportunity to succeed. He grew up with the mindset that, “you couldn’t be a kid under that regime. There was no room for any kind of creativity to flourish. Instead, to survive, we mimicked the cloister walk of the nuns, a relentless mute march from prayer to chapel to physical labour.” (Wagamese 49). This represents a society where they are all involved in a social scandal by means of establishing racist remarks toward minority groups. Subsequently, the essentials of a societal balance are missing. Saul struggles to be accepted by the community due to the fact that his demographical status is different than the general public. After joining the Moose, (hockey team) Saul and his team members notice that “the white people had denied us the privilege of indoor arenas, the comfort of heated dressing rooms, concession stands, glassed rinks, scoreboards and even a players bench.” (Wagamese 110). The act of denying the Aboriginal players their basic privileges display that they experience inequity, solidifying the point that the society discriminates Aboriginals because of their culture and heritage. Furthermore, the crowd is unable to digest the fact that Aboriginal teams are able to compete and defeat white hockey teams. This is because Non-Indigenous teams consider hockey to be their game/sport. “‘They hate us because we’re skins”‘ (Wagamese 136). This quote reveals how quickly Saul’s passion for hockey is crushed by the whites. What once was his escape to happiness is now his setback. “During one game they broke into a ridiculous war chant…..when I scored, the ice was littered with plastic Indian dolls” (Wagamese 164). This quote refers to when Saul joined the junior team for the leafs. He was constantly being diminished of his ability to play the sport of hockey. The unkind language which is being used to scold him, weakens his love for the game and builds up acrimony which is unable to be contained. In addition, the dominant community displays their hatred vividly, as a result of the racial prejudice they inflict upon Aboriginals. Thus resulting in volatile exclusion based on heritage.
Under those circumstances, the merciless behavior shown by the community restricts positive character development and leads to revengeful thoughts by various individuals. Saul experiences a huge amount of racism from white peers and sports opponents. And finally, he experiences his share of direct violence from racist whites who try to beat him into submission. All these behaviors arise from the fact that Saul is an Indigenous Canadian living in a country run by white people, many of whom believe that Saul is inherently inferior because of his race.
This racism seems to spring from an irrational need on the part of white Canadians to prove that Indigenous Canadians are inferior to them. During Saul’s time at St. Jerome’s Christian school, he’s beaten and abused by the racist white teachers. These teachers regularly tell Saul and his classmates that their indigenous culture is inferior to white Canadian culture. Of course, the indigenous students are not, inferior to whites, and so the teachers use violence to force them into submission. Saul is a talented hockey player who regularly defeats his bigger, more privileged white opponents. After defeating Caucasian hockey teams, white hockey players and racist civilians take out their anger on Saul and his teammates. In other words, Saul is evidently better than the Christian teams, which makes Saul’s success even more humiliating for them.