Literature has significantly contributed to the production of Canada. The expressions and narrations of cultures, triumphs and challenges in the country's growth process are critical to literature. Therefore, the life, works and aspiration of Archie Belaney and Pauline Johnson are critical in achieving and realizing the production of Canada.
Archie Belaney a.k.a. Grey owl was born in England in 1888. His parents returned to the United States where they had immigrated leaving him in the care of his aunts. He attended Hastings grammar school where he illustrated an affinity for Chemistry, English and French classes. His intimacy with nature began at this time while spending his extra time exploring the woods near his home.
On the other hand, Pauline Johnson was born in 1861 in Ontario at Chiefswood at the Six Nations Indian Reserve. Her father was a Mohawk chief while her mother was an English woman. Her childhood was characterized by poor health; therefore, she could not attend school like the other native children. However, her mother employed tutors to facilitate her home schooling. The few years she spent in school, and her dedicated use of the family’s home library ensured that she had a sound education. Hence, her passion for native lore and literature began at an early age.
Belaney’s fascination with Indians began when he was a boy. After school, he took a job with a lumber company. However, he got fired when he caused an explosion near the lumber company’s offices. His desire to explore and experience nature could not be satiated in England. Therefore, in 1906 he migrated to Canada beginning his adventurous journey as a significant contributor to Canada’s literary heritage.
Archie’s immigration to Canada led him to work as a fur trapper. It was at this time that he encountered and was captivated by the Anishinaabe Ojibwe people, a native tribe in the region. His interest in the indigenous people’s cultural and traditional practices led him to learn and study their language. His marriage to Angele Agwuna, a native Ojibwe woman in 1910, realized his desire to be a part of the indigenous culture of the tribe. His Ojibwe wife taught him in depth the social and cultural practices of her people. His wife’s tribe adopted Belaney giving him the name of Grey Owl. Though, he was adopted by the tribe, he was not born in it like Pauline Johnson.
While living in Northern Ontario, Archie worked in the community as a fur trapper. His intimate knowledge of the region enabled him to work as a guide and forest ranger. This aspect of his life brought him close to his passion for nature and the environment. These contributed significantly to his literal works and environment preservation pursuits. However, in 1915 he enlisted with Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force. While, in the force, he presented himself as a native Ojibwe tribesman a fact that his comrades accepted at face value.
In 1916, Archie was critically wounded and shipped to France for treatment. He was constantly moved from one hospital to the other. In the process, he met and married his second wife Constance Holmes who was a childhood friend to him. However, the second marriage did not last long. He returned to Canada in 1917 where he was honorably discharged from military service. It is after his discharge that his literal career would emerge.
Pauline Johnson passion for literal works inspired her to write poems. Her writing manifested while she performed for amateur productions. However, after her father’s death in 1884, she assumed the responsibility of providing for her mother. Her performances proved to be crucial in earning a sustainable income to support her mother and sister. The publication of her work “A cry from an Indian wife” in 1885 signified her emergence in the literal lime light. Her works emphasized on native, historical, cultural and social integration with other communities.
While Belaney’s literal work was critical to environmental preservation and conservation of nature. His intimacy with nature and the outdoors was a critical element in his writing. His intimate affair with a Mohawk Iroquois lady was critical in his literal future. She encouraged him to write about his experiences and passion. Her influence enabled him to stop trapping and concentrate on publishing his works. Belaney’s writing significantly reflected on the wilderness and its preservation.
As much as Belaney’s writing focused on the wild, nature and the native people’s spirit, Pauline Johnson emphasized on peace and harmonious coexistence between the Indians and the whites. Her emphasis on peaceful coexistence between communities illustrates her as a significant historical figure in capturing historical events that have shaped Canada today. Her work appealing for peace between the whites and the native Indians gave her significant popularity in the literal world. Her audience found her to be persuasive and appealing to their sense of belonging.
Belaney’s conservation efforts are significant in his effort to save and raise a pair of beavers. His publication of articles as Grey Owl leaned significantly on animal tales. These appeared in forest and outdoors, a Canadian Forestry Association publication. These led to Belaney becoming a familiar and popular writer across Canada. His contribution is reflected in the conservatory and preservation efforts for wildlife and their natural habitats in Canada.
Similarly, Pauline Johnson was regularly published as a Canadian writer where her work appeared in significant periodicals like the week and Saturday night. Johnson’s writing is referenced as crucial in the embodiment of Canada’s national literature. Her works on the Canadian life, nature and passion illustrate her feminine perspective. Her success, in the event organized by the Young Men's Liberal Association, symbolized the entry into her stage performance career.
Her performances aligned towards the native culture. She assumed the voice of the native Indian people and represented herself on stage as one. Her adornment of Indian cultural attire in stage was significant in passing across her message to the audience across the racial boundaries. She began to be viewed as an exotic and beautiful performer representing the native person in a literal perspective.
Though Belaney’s origins sparked criticism and controversy significantly after his death, his literal works are regarded as milestones in the publication of Canada’s literature on wildlife, conservation and preservation of indigenous species including people. His intimate knowledge, experiences in the Canadian wilderness gave him a perspective which inclined towards the protection of natural habitats. His vision of environmental and natural conservation led to his contribution and establishment of environmental preservation funds, groups and organizations.
The expression of his passion in his literal works explains the pleasure he got while experiencing the Canadian high mountains, vast forests, the wildlife, magnificent rivers and the Indian people. Keeping the wilderness spirit alive formed a fundamental aspect of his work. Despite the controversy, of his ancestry claims; Belaney’s intention were misconstrued by many literal critics. His intentions were to align himself to his passionate beliefs and desire to contribute to protecting nature in an original context.
On the other hand, many literal critics and analysts ignored Pauline Johnson’s work as a contributor to native Indian literature and history. Some critics believe that Johnson's popularity was manifested in her persona rather than work. However, this school of thought has been refuted by an in depth appraisal of her work by significant biographers and literal researchers. Johnson’s work is monumental in bringing out the Canadian cultural heritage.
Johnson’s work highlighted the emergence of the new culture where women were appreciated as literal contributors to Canada’s heritage and history. Her ability to provide for her family after the death of her father is critical in negating beliefs of the male dominance in the family setup. She is perceived as a revolutionary in the subjects of native rights, race and gender disparity. Her literal contributions are significant in the emergence of the new Canada.
Pauline Johnson and Archie Belaney are crucial in producing Canada’s heritage. Their contributions have enabled the world to understand Canada’s social, cultural and environmental history. Each in their own way participatory demonstrated their passion. Pauline Johnson writing was not enough for her; therefore, performing was significant in reinforcing the message depicted in her literary work. On the other hand, Belaney was actively engaged in his efforts to conserve and protect the wild. His work needed a literal aspect to expose his work, beliefs and aspirations to the world.
The literal production of the works of these two individuals has facilitated in Canada’s transition from a precolonial disposition to a post colonial era. Where literature is a tool of education in the country’s past challenges whose lessons have shaped today’s world.