Friday, April 1, 2016

American Indian Biography: Emily Pauline Johnson

I have been reading a book, "America Indian Biographies" and am finding many new interesting people.  One of them is Emily Pauline Johnson.  She was born in 1861 on the Six nations reserve in Canada
She was bicultural, her mother being white and her father Mohawk.  She is the great-grand daughter of Jacob Johnson Tekahionwake who took the name of William Johnson when he was baptized.  His family had moved to Canada after the Revolutionary War as they had fought with the British and were forced to cede their properties.  Pauline Johnson spent her youth reading, as her mother encouraged her to do.  She also spent much of her time canoeing as well.  Her most beautiful and well known poem talks about this love, "The Song My Paddle Sings."  She toured throughout Canada and embraced her country.  She published several more books of poetry, "The White Wampum," "Canadian Born," "Mocassin Maker" and "Shagganappi."  Johnson was proud of her Native heritage for it was acceptable to be so.  She also has had great influence in Canada where her poems are still read and studied by school children.

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