Lawrence just has to make it through his final year of residential school and then he will never have to set foot in this horrible place again. But despite his best efforts to stay out of trouble, he finds himself in a few frightening predicaments. An escape attempt fails and a stolen gun misfires. Fortunately, his friendships and the tutelage of Sister Theresa help make his last school days bearable.
When he returns home, Lawrence is not yet a man but no longer a boy. He struggles to find acceptance in a community that seems to have forgotten him. He tries a few different jobs and makes a name for himself as a hard worker. With increased confidence and the money he has saved up, he leaves Slave Lake to fulfill his dream of living in the mountains.
Like many of the tens of thousands of First Nations, Inuit and Metis children who were taken from their families and sent to residential school for years, Lawrence felt like a stranger in his community when he returned, questioning both his place and his role in the world. But with the help of his grandmother and grandfather and the experiences he had while working at his first jobs, Lawrence gets stronger, takes pride in himself, and learns to feel like a part of his family and community again.
Goodbye Buffalo Bay is based on the author's life at a residential school. A short epilogue in the back of the book, as well as a three page section entitled, "A Brief History of Residential Schools," explain why these poorly funded schools opened, how they operated, and why they were finally shut down. Other back matter in this book includes a small Cree glossary and a website link where readers can see photographs of students and activities at a residential school.
Green Mountain Rd., Lot 45
RR#2, Site 50, Comp. 8
Pentiction, BC V2A 6J7