Native American Authors
Rita Joe was born in 1931, in Wycocomagh, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. She went to Shubencadie Residential School, which she attended until eighth grade. Rita began to write poetry in the late sixties. Her poems gently present the Native experience within dominant society, and they advocate love and understanding between peoples to overcome the barriers that impede communication and peace. Rita won several awards, the most important being the Order of Canada, which is the highest honor Canada can bestow on her citizens. She died March 20th, 2007.
Awards and Honors
Nova Scotia Writers Federation prize
Order of Canada
Online resources by or about Rita Joe:
The Poetry of Rita Joe
Author: Michael Sack
Description: Biographical information about Joe, along with the text of several poems.
Author: Rita Joe
Description: Rita Joe’s web site includes a biography, contact information, and descriptions of her publications.
Windspeak People of Honour: Rita Joe
Author: Aboriginal Multi-Media Society
Description: A profile of Rita Joe, titled “Poet conquers hearts with kindness”.
Books by Rita Joe:
Joe, Rita. Lnu and Indians we’re called
Charlottetown : Ragweed Press, 1991.
Joe, Rita. Song of Rita Joe : autobiography of a Mi’kmaq poet
Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, 1996.
Joe, Rita. We are the dreamers : recent and early poetry
Wreck Cove, N.S. : Breton Books, 1999.
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