The Story of the Everlasting Tree School:
a Conversation with One of the Founders, Amy Bomberry
In this episode, I talk with Amy Bomberry, one of the co-founders of The Everlasting Tree School. The Everlasting Tree School was founded in June 2010 by a group of parents and teachers seeking a holistic experience in education grounded in Kanyen’keha (Mohawk Language), Rotinonhsonni [People of the Longhouse] culture, and the principles of Waldorf Education, inspiring life-long learning through the head, heart, and hands.
Listen in for some wonderful inspiration and a beautiful story of how a small school grew in this community. So often it’s our children who are our guides on our journey, leading us to find healing and a bigger purpose.
Meet Amy Bomberry
Amy Bomberry is Kanyen’kehá:ka (Mohawk), Turtle Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River. She is a mother of six, a teacher, and a holistic healing practitioner. Amy is a co-founder of Skaronhyase’kó:wa The Everlasting Tree School, a Kanyen’kéha (Mohawk) immersion, Waldorf-inspired school where she is also a classroom teacher and Faculty Chair. Amy has been actively learning Kanyen’kéha (Mohawk) for 20+ years, as a second language, to ensure her children know their language, culture and history. Amy also serves on the Board of Directors for the Douglas Cardinal Foundation for Indigenous Waldorf Education.
The Everlasting Tree School
Skaronhyase’kó:wa The Everlasting Tree School strives to provide a safe, nurturing place to experience the wonders of nature and the beauty of expression that comes from thinking, speaking and interacting in Kanyen’keha. Most of the students are acquiring their heritage language as a second language.
The school’s goal is to raise the language status of Kanyen’keha at Six Nations of the Grand River, making it a viable, realistic lifestyle choice that has current utility and future promise for individuals in their community and abroad, thereby striving to support its inter-generational continuity.
The school’s hope is to bring families together to form a community that will surround the children. Within this community, the children can become good-minded thinkers, who are self-reliant in their skills, yet inter-dependent and responsible to others.
Connect with the Everlasting Tree School here:
“It’s not about the content. It’s looking at the whys and how that meets the child’s development.” ~Amy Bomberry
Highlights from Our Conversation
1:46 Jean introduces guest Amy Bomberry, one of the founders of The Everlasting Tree School, a Mohawk Immersion Waldorf-Inspired School.
2:43 Amy says hello in the indigenous language of the Kanyen’kéha (Mohawk).
4:34 Amy shares her educational journey growing up Mohawk, her experience discovering her nation’s history in university, and the deep trauma and impact this made. Also, her hopes for her children’s upbringing and education and the future of all children.
17:03 Amy’s healing journey begins as the parent of young children and classroom teacher.
18:14 Amy shares her first exposure to Waldorf at the Toronto Waldorf School.
23:13 Jean asks Amy to share where she was on her journey when she first attended the Taproot Teacher Training.
30:34 Amy & Jean discuss the Taproot experience.
36:12 Amy discusses where the Everlasting Tree School is today.
41:45 Jean discusses how the Taproot Teacher Training and homeschooling resources can meet the needs of small, community initiatives and co-ops.
47:20 Amy shares inspiration and encouragement to customize the curriculum and meet the needs of each child, family, & community.
53:41 Jean’s closing message about the potential of Waldorf education to reach families and communities, to enrich learning, and to heal.
55:42 Amy emphasizes the interconnected nature of her experiences and how her journey has been woven together and guided by the ancestors.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” ~Mahatma Gandhi
This beautiful story of the Everlasting Tree School is such a good reminder for us all that when we start with understanding the Waldorf curriculum, we can see why and how it’s meeting our children’s needs right where they are developmentally.
When we open our eyes to really see and notice, we’ll find that our journeys are all interwoven and we’ll find connections every step of the way.
You can find all the details here for Taproot 2021 where both Amy and Jean will be presenters this year. Amy will be presenting Waldorf-Inspired Learning in a Mohawk Immersion Classroom: Adapting the Waldorf Curriculum to Meet your Family’s or Community’s Needs.
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