BRANTFORD — On November 13, Canadian rock musician and author Tom Wilson was the latest guest lecturer at Laurier Brantford in part of the 2018-2019 lecture series for the Friends and Neighbours group.
The grassroots committee is seeking to promote community dialogue about residential schools in Canada and to help raise awareness for the Save the Evidence campaign to restore the former Mohawk Institute.
Wilson is known for his musical career as frontman for Canadian rock bands Junkhouse and Lee Harvey Osmond. He has written songs recorded by Sarah MacLaughlan, Colin James, Billy Ray Cyrus and The Rankin Family.
In mid-life, in his 50s, Tom learned that the parents who raised him were not his birth parents; that, in fact, he was adopted and that his biological mother was a longtime family friend from the Kahnawake reserve, just outside of Montreal. Grappling with this newfound sense of himself plunged Tom into a quest for his heritage and his truth, and led to the writing of his bestselling autobiography, ‘Beautiful Scars’.
The book is a colourful and truthful tale of this quest, and his life’s tribulations and successes along the path. Wilson says the experience led him to new works examining his birth into the world as an infant and new birth into the knowledge of his identity as a Mohawk man.
Wilson has a new art show launching at the Art Gallery of Burlington on December 1. ‘Beautiful Scars Mohawk Warriors, Hunters & Chiefs: The Art of Tom Wilson’ will show in the gallery until January 27.