Indigenous Canadians react to archbishop of Canterbury’s apology for boarding schools

By Sean Frankling
Posted May 10, 2022

[Anglican Journal (Anglican Church of Canada)] When Geronimo Henry stood up to speak at a May 3 meeting between Indigenous community leaders, residential school survivors and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in Toronto, he told the story of his 11 years in the Mohawk Institute residential school near Brantford, Ontario.

He told those gathered how he and other children had been locked in an empty “play room” for hours at a time, gazing out the single window and wishing to see his mother drive up the laneway to bring him home.

He told them about when the city of Brantford built a dump out behind the school and he and the other boys would sneak out to rifle through it for food to supplement the school’s paltry fare.

And he told them that when Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government issued an official apology for the residential school system in 2008, he used to take a printed copy with him to speaking engagements at universities so that when someone asked what he thought of the apology, he could take it out and rip it up.

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