In October, during Indigenous Education Awareness Month, Elder Tony Bomberry spoke to students in Grades 6, 7 and 8 at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School about his journey through residential school. At the age of six, Tony Bomberry was taken from his home to the Mohawk Institute Residential School, in Brantford where he lived for three years. Once released from the residential school, he was placed in foster care until he was 18 years old.
He shared with the students his journey through residential school and what it was like, but also how important it is to heal. Elder Bomberry stressed that it’s important for students to recognize that all people are special and valued. “We all matter,” said Elder Bomberry. “Each one of you has a gift to give the world and we must embrace that gift and share with others.”
The students were struck by Elder Bomberry’s living conditions at the residential school and how he was able to use humour to move forward from what must have been a terrible and scary experience for one so young.