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Pauline Johnson – Actress and Mohawk Writer of Poems (1862-1913)

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Glynn ManyironsPauline Johnson is one of my kinfolk, who was a well known actress and writer of poems in the 1800s and early 1900s. She was born on the Six Nations Iroquois Territory, close to Brantford, Ontario, Canada, in 1862. Her father was the Head Chief of the Six Nations, and her mother was Emily S. Howells.

Pauline had very little education in public schools as they were not open to Native Children .But even at an early age she had a natural feeling for writing poetry and acting. Her first recital of her work was in 1892 and soon she was the darling and the best known author of her times.The Savage Angel from Six Nations Reserve.

In 1908 because of ill health she had to give up public life and passed away in 1913.

She was buried in Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

 

The Camper

Night ‘neath the northern skies, lone, black, and grim:
Naught but the starlight lies ‘twixt heaven, and him.

Of man no need has he, of God, no prayer;
He and his Deity are brothers there.

Above his bivouac the firs fling down
Through branches gaunt and black, their needles brown.

Afar some mountain streams, rockbound and fleet,
Sing themselves through his dreams in cadence sweet,

The pine trees whispering, the heron’s cry,
The plover’s passing wing, his lullaby.

And blinking overhead the white stars keep
Watch o’er his hemlock bed – his sinless sleep.

 

 

I work with Muskwa International Foundation Inc. which is an entity that was formed to assist the street children in the Philippines, mostly in Manila and Davao, the two largest cities in the Philippines.  You can find out about their projects here Street Children and Natural Disasters.

The stories I tell here I learned from the Elders and Story tellers and I am passing them on with their blessings. These stories can be anything from 4,000 to 5,000 years old.

 

 

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