Image of E. Pauline Johnson


Lifetime: 1861 - 1913 Passed: ≈ 111 years ago


Poet, Author



E. Pauline Johnson

Emily Pauline Johnson, also known as Tekahionwake, was a Canadian poet, writer, and performer. She was born on March 10, 1861, on the Six Nations reserve near Brantford, Ontario. Johnson was of Mohawk and English heritage and grew up in a culturally diverse environment. Her father was a Mohawk chief, and her mother was an English immigrant.

Johnson's principles were deeply rooted in her Indigenous heritage. She was passionate about preserving and celebrating Indigenous culture, history, and traditions. She used her writing and performances to raise awareness about the struggles of Indigenous people in Canada and to promote unity and understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

Johnson was famous for her poetry and performances, which combined Indigenous and European literary traditions. She was a skilled orator and performer, and her readings were often accompanied by music and dance. Her works were widely published in Canadian and American newspapers and magazines, and she toured extensively throughout Canada, the United States, and England.

Some of Johnson's notable works include "The Song My Paddle Sings," "The White Wampum," and "Legends of Vancouver." Her poetry often focused on nature, Indigenous spirituality, and the challenges of living in a rapidly changing world. She was one of the first Indigenous writers to gain widespread recognition in Canada and helped to pave the way for future Indigenous writers and artists.

Johnson's philosophy was one of unity and respect for all people and cultures. She believed in the power of storytelling and performance to bring people together and to foster understanding and empathy. She was deeply committed to promoting Indigenous rights and culture and was a vocal advocate for Indigenous land rights and self-determination.

Johnson died on March 7, 1913, in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the age of 51. She is remembered as one of Canada's most significant literary figures and a pioneer for Indigenous writers and performers. Her legacy continues to inspire Indigenous artists and activists today.

In addition to her literary achievements, Johnson was also a talented athlete and performed in various sports, including ice skating and snowshoeing. She was also an accomplished musician and often accompanied her readings with songs on the guitar or piano.

In conclusion, Emily Pauline Johnson was a trailblazer for Indigenous writers and performers in Canada. Her works continue to inspire and educate people about Indigenous culture and history, and her philosophy of unity and respect for all people and cultures remains relevant today. Her books are available in various online and physical bookstores and are worth reading to experience the poetic prowess of one of Canada's literary giants.

Books by E. Pauline Johnson

The Lost Lagoon Cover image

The Lost Lagoon

Tradition Culture Poems Spirituality Verses Fortnightly

This book features a compilation of poems that explores the beauty and mystique of nature, as well as Johnson's reflections on her Indigenous heritage. The collection includes some of Johnson's most famous works, such as "The Song My Paddle Sings,"...

The Shagganappi Cover image

The Shagganappi

Fiction History Novel
Adventure Exploration Friendship Determination Emotion Literary Fiction Human Spirit Canadian Culture

It is an engaging and heartwarming novel perfect for all readers. This captivating book takes readers on a remarkable journey through friendship, resilience, and the power of connection. Originally published in [1913], "The Shagganappi" introduces re...

The Camper Cover image

The Camper

Nature Poems Forest Verses Fortnightly Birds Darkness

In the solitude of the wilderness, a camper finds solace and harmony with nature. Under the vast expanse of the northern sky, he seeks refuge in the whispering pines, his spirit entwined with the rhythm of the wild. As the stars blink overhead, he fi...

Song My Paddle Sings Cover image

Song My Paddle Sings

LibriVox’s weekly poetry project for the week of February 5, 2006 offers fourteen versions of "The Song My Paddle Sings" from the collection Flint and Feather by E. Pauline Johnson. E. Pauline Johnson, also known as Tekahionwake, was born to the Moha...

Train Dogs Cover image

Train Dogs

LibriVox volunteers bring you 18 recordings of The Train Dogs by E. Pauline Johnson. This was the Weekly Poetry project for February 6th, 2011.Emily Pauline Johnson (Mohawk: Tekahionwake –pronounced: dageh-eeon-wageh, literally: 'double-life')(10 Mar...

Cry From An Indian Wife Cover image

Cry From An Indian Wife

LibriVox volunteers bring you 13 recordings of A Cry From an Indian Wife by E. Pauline Johnson,. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for January 29, 2012.In 1892 the opportunity of a lifetime came to this young versifier, when Frank Yeigh, the pr...

Indian Corn Planter Cover image

Indian Corn Planter

LibriVox volunteers bring you 13 recordings of The Indian Corn Planter by E. Pauline Johnson. This was the Weekly Poetry project for April 29, 2012."But in the writings of one poet alone I came upon a new note—the note of the Red Man's Canada. This w...

Fire - Flowers Cover image

Fire - Flowers

LibriVox volunteers bring you 17 recordings of Fire - Flowers by E. Pauline Johnson. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for August 18, 2013.Fire-Flowers is taken from the book, Flint and Feather: Collected Verse by E. Pauline Johnson. (Summary...

Homing Bee Cover image

Homing Bee

It is eminently fitting that this daughter of Nature should have been laid to rest in no urban cemetery. According to her own request she was buried in Stanley Park, Vancouver's beautiful heritage of the forest primeval. A simple stone surrounded by...

Erie Waters Cover image

Erie Waters

"Her death is not only a great loss to those who knew and loved her: it is a great loss to Canadian literature and to the Canadian nation. I must think that she will hold a memorable place among poets in virtue of her descent and also in virtue of th...

Lifting Of The Mist Cover image

Lifting Of The Mist

LibriVox volunteers bring you 16 recordings of The Lifting Of The Mist by E. Pauline Johnson. This was the Weekly Poetry project for July 28, 2019. ------ Her education was neither extensive nor elaborate, and embraced neither High School nor Coll...

Christmastide Cover image


LibriVox volunteers bring you 15 recordings of Christmastide by E. Pauline Johnson. This was the Weekly Poetry project for December 15, 2019. ------ Emily Pauline Johnson (also known in Mohawk as Tekahionwake –pronounced: dageh-eeon-wageh, liter...

At Crow's Nest Pass Cover image

At Crow's Nest Pass

LibriVox volunteers bring you 19 recordings of At Crow's Nest by Emily Pauline Johnson. This was the Weekly Poetry project for April 23, 2023. ------ Crowsnest Pass (sometimes referred to as Crow's Nest Pass, is a low mountain pass across the Con...

Mariner Cover image


LibriVox volunteers bring you 16 recordings of The Mariner by E. Pauline Johnson. This was the Weekly Poetry project for January 7, 2024. ------ Johnson was notable for her poems, short stories, and performances that celebrated her mixed-race he...