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 Emily Pauline “Tekahionwake” Johnson

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Emily Pauline “Tekahionwake” Johnson

Birth
Six Nations, Haldimand County, Ontario, Canada
Death 7 Mar 1913 (aged 51)
Vancouver, Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia, Canada
Burial Vancouver, Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia, Canada
Plot Near Siwash Rock
Memorial ID 6396 · View Source
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Poet. She was born and raised on the Six Nations Indian Reserve near Brantford, Ontario. Her father was a Mohawk Indian chief and her mother was a wealthy white woman from England. While some disapproved of her parent's mixed race marriage the family in most cases was recognized as important leaders in their community. Both her parents desired that their children celebrate both of their family's heritages. Her unique family situation allowed her to have a childhood filled with a wide variety of experiences. She enjoyed the Native traditions of her father's family and loved the English classics her mother encouraged her to read. Both influences had a great impact on her writings. She had limited formal education opportunities but by the time she reached young adulthood she was writing and publicly reading her poems. Her first dream was to be an actress but her mother thought that profession to be unacceptable for a young lady. Johnson's desire to perform was filled by her dramatically reciting her poems on stage. Her fame spread as she performed not only in Canada but in Europe and the United States as well. She would often recite her poems in costume dressed as a Mohawk princess for part of the show and an English society lady for the rest of the performance. In 1895 she published her poems in a book entitled "The White Wampum". Later she published other books including, "Canadian Born", The Moccasin Maker" and "Flint and Feather". She continued to write up until breast cancer took her life. In 1961 she was honored by her homeland when a commemorative stamp was issued in her honor. She was the first woman (other than the Queen), first Native Canadian and first author to be so honored.

Bio by: Bigwoo



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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 18 Sep 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6396
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Emily Pauline “Tekahionwake” Johnson (10 Mar 1861–7 Mar 1913), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6396, citing Stanley Park, Vancouver, Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia, Canada ; Maintained by Find A Grave .