Rita Joe

Born in We’koqma’q, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Rita Joe was a poet, songwriter, artist, educator and elder of the Mi’kmaq people. She published her first book of poetry—Poems of Rita Joe—in 1978 and went on to publish five more books of poetry and songs, plus an autobiography. Writing in both English and Mi’kmaq, she shared her love of the land and world view as an Indigenous person with an ever-widening audience. Recognized as an eloquent spokesperson of the Mi’kmaq people, she received various awards, honorary doctorates and in 1989 the Order of Canada. She died in 2007. (Photo: Unknown)

Photo: David Anderson