This changes when he is permitted to leave St Jeromes and live with an Ojibway

This changes when he is permitted to leave st jeromes

This preview shows page 112 - 114 out of 145 pages.

hockey team, but he feels “defeated” because the level of play no longer challenges him (93). This changes when he is permitted to leave St. Jerome’s and live with an Ojibway family to “attend a regular school,” and play for an Aboriginal “tournament team” (94-97). Saul is initially “scared” to leave St. Jerome’s to live with the Kelly family in a “mining” town called Manitouwadge (97-99). The town is separated by “an invisible line” with about “thirty…Ojibway families” living on one side, and “tough, narrow-minded men and their loyal women and their callow kids,” living on the other side in “[t]he town proper” (99). Saul is aware of this division, but the Kelly family, the Ojibway community, and the game of hockey provides Saul with a “real home” experience that helps insulate him from the pressures of this racism (95-97). Virgil also helps Saul overcome his initial “fright” of the new public school system, and Saul thrives in the atmosphere of the “Native tournaments” that are hosted on “reserve” communities “across the territory” (94-114). His adolescent years with the Kellys are some of the happiest of his life.
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109 The weekend tournaments reveal the healthy sense of community and serve to unite each team “together in a way that nothing else” can, and “players and fans alike huddle...against” the cold weather, and “celebrate every goal, every hit, every pass” (110- 111). Saul’s team unity is strengthened by these weekend tournaments, as are the Aboriginal communities that host them. Each community provides food and shelter for the visiting teams, and becomes an extended home for the players (109). Saul’s adolescent years in Manitouwadge heal the disruption created in St. Jerome’s, and help remind him of his Ojibway identity. Fred mentors Saul. He purposely duplicates game situations in practice, creating scenarios where Saul is double and triple teamed, so that he will be familiar with the pressure opposing teams will place on him (114-115). Saul uses his vision to overcome these tactics, and Virgil tells Saul that watching him play is “like watching [someone] walk into a secret place that no one else knows how to get to” (115). Hockey strengthens Saul’s gift of sight, and within the safety of his team environment Saul learns to use the power of “emotion” to access his “vision,” enabling him to realize his “longing for [the] purity of motion, [and] the freedom that the game” provides (115). Saul develops his natural ability as a leader while playing hockey. He leads his team to “ten” tournament victories out of the “fifteen” they attend, his style of play changes the way his team plays the game. His Moose teammates are no longer led “around by the nose” as they chase after the puck, but skate for “open ice at every opportunity,…trusting that a teammate” will pass them the puck, and provide “another golden chance to score” (116).
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  • Fall '11
  • N.H.Re
  • Aboriginal peoples in Canada, First Nations, Indigenous Australians, Canadian Indian residential school system, Indian Residential Schools

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