Emily Pauline Johnson, known also by her Mohawk name “Tekahionwake", was a twentieth-century Anglo-Mohawk poet, performer, and writer from Six Nations (near Brantford, ON). She spent her life travelling throughout Canada, the United States, and England, where she recited poetry — famously embodying her “dual identity” by donning a traditional buckskin costume for one part of her performance, and changing into a European dress for the other. Johnson retired from the stage in 1909, moved to Vancouver, BC, and began focusing more on producing prose for periodicals including Mother’s Magazine, Boy’s World, and The Vancouver Daily Province.
Many of the stories published in these periodicals were based on her friendship with Squamish chief Joe Capilano (Su–á-pu-luck), whom she met in London in 1906. When she became ill with breast cancer, friends and supporters endeavored to publish a collection of Johnson’s prose stories to raise funds for her medical treatment. This collection was titled Legends of Vancouver, and was first published in 1911. A collection of her poetry, titled Flint and Feather, was published in 1912 under similar circumstances (and both collections remain in print today). There were also two posthumous prose collections published the following year -- The Moccasin Maker, which includes many stories from the periodical Mother’s Magazine, and The Shagganappi, a collection of stories from the periodical Boys’ World.
Johnson succumbed to her illness and passed away on 7 March 1913, and was later buried within Stanley Park near her beloved Siwash Rock. A monument was raised at this location in 1922 by the Women’s Canadian Club.