Rita JoeRita Joe, (March 15, 1932 – March 20, 2007) was a Mi'kmaw poet and songwriter, often referred to as the Poet Laureate of the Mi'kmaq people.
Born Rita Bernard in Whycocomagh, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, she was the youngest surviving daughter of Joseph (Josie) Gould Bernard and Annie (Googoo) Bernard. In 1942, she was orphaned.
In 1978, her first book, ''The Poems of Rita Joe'' was published. Over her lifetime she published six other books, including the autobiographical ''Song of Rita Joe,''in which the poet outlined some of her experiences at the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School.
In 1989, Joe was made a Member of the Order of Canada; in 1992, she was called to the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, and she is one of the few non-politicians ever appointed.
She married Frank Joe in 1954. They had eight children and adopted two boys. In the years before her death, Joe suffered from Parkinson's disease. Provided by Wikipedia
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