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. As a Mi'kmaq poet, her poems gently present the Indigenous 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 is known today as the Poet Laureate of the Mi'kmaq.
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