Emily Pauline Johnson (also known in Mohawk as Tekahionwake), commonly known as E. Pauline Johnson or just Pauline Johnson, was a Canadian writer notable for her poems and performances that celebrated her First Nations heritage. Her father was a Mohawk chief of mixed ancestry, and her mother an English immigrant.
Johnson was a strong, talented woman. A true adventurer. this is a well written biographer in which a fascinating woman’s life is placed in the context of a new country and its politics, social classes and racism.
One such poem is the frequently anthologized “The Song My Paddle Sings”.
This collection of poems sheds light on Indigenous-Non Indigenous relations at the turn of the twentieth century. Interestingly, she often shares her admiration for the British Empire while also lamenting the many hardships faced by Indigenous peoples across Canada. Her love for nature and her continuous mentions of being in a canoe on the water are particularly moving.
My slightly battered copy has been read many times. It was given to my mother by her brother in 1931 for her 24th Birthday.
Flint and Feather The complete poems of E Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake)