During the month of April 2016, Six Nations Tourism was informed that the late Pauline Johnson was among one of the 26,000 submissions from the Canadian public to be shortlisted to 12 finalists. Not long after this was announced, the advisory council used these results to develop a shorter list of 5 iconic women to be placed on the $10.00 Canadian currency. Some of the criteria to be put on this list was that “nominees should have broken barriers, made a significant change, left a lasting legacy and be inspirational” and Pauline was exactly that, not just to First Nations, but women during the mid-19th century.
Six Nations Tourism which overlooks the Chiefswood National Historic Site, also known as the Pauline Johnson childhood home are thrilled to announce that amongst the 5 iconic Canadian women – Pauline Johnson, Viola Desmond, Elsie MacGill and Fanny Rosenfeld, Pauline placed third overall, falling just short behind Elsie MacGill and Viola Desmond who was announced as the winner December 8th, 2016.
This in itself is a huge accomplishment and acknowledges all that Pauline Johnson did through her poetry, writings and performance art. Pauline’s dual heritage of Mohawk and English represent the complex politics of her personal and political experiences during a period of restrictive legal policy of First Nations people. Through this unique experience, Johnson was able to express it through her work and in doing so broke barriers for both women and First Nations as a whole. Indeed, between 1892 and 1910 she spoke on issues of race, gender and Native culture, during the early stages of the institutional racism and sexism in Canada (see Indian Act). Pauline Johnson’s legacy reaches across time and cultures and continues to today.
Make sure to keep an eye out for Viola Desmond in the year 2018 as she is expected to be placed on the $10.00 Canadian bill on this year and on behalf of Six Nations Tourism, Chiefswood NHS and of course Pauline Johnson we congratulate her on this huge accomplishment.
You can visit and schedule a guided tour of the Chiefswood National Historic with Cultural Coordinator, Miran Hill all year round. He can be reached at 519.758.5444 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.