Producing Canada

Literature has significantly contributed to the production of Canada. The expressions and narrations of cultures, triumphs and challenges in the country'sgrowthprocess are critical toliterature. Therefore, the life, works andaspirationof Archie Belaney and Pauline Johnson are critical in achieving and realizing theproductionof Canada.

Archie Belaney a.k.a. Grey owlwas bornin 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. Hisintimacywith nature began at thistimewhile spending his extra time exploring the woods near his home.

On the other hand, Pauline Johnsonwas bornin 1861 in Ontario at Chiefswood at the Six Nations Indian Reserve. Her father was a Mohawkchiefwhile her mother was an English woman. Her childhoodwas characterizedby poor health; therefore, she could not attend school like the othernativechildren. However, her mother employed tutors tofacilitateher home schooling. The few years she spent in school, and her dedicateduseof thefamily’s home library ensured that she had asoundeducation. Hence, her passion fornativeloreand literature began at an early age.

Belaney’sfascinationwith 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 thelumbercompany’s offices. His desire to explore and experience nature could not be satiated in England. Therefore, in 1906 he migrated to Canada beginning hisadventurousjourney as a significant contributor to Canada’s literary heritage.

Archie’s immigration to Canada led him toworkas a fur trapper. It was at this time that he encountered andwas captivatedby 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 andstudytheir 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 indepththe social and cultural practices of her people. His wife’stribeadopted Belaney giving him the name of Grey Owl. Though, hewas adoptedby the tribe, hewas not bornin it like Pauline Johnson.

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While living in Northern Ontario, Archie worked in the community as a fur trapper. His intimate knowledge of the region enabled him toworkas 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 hisliteralworks and environmentpreservationpursuits. 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, Archiewas critically woundedand shipped to France for treatment. Hewas constantly movedfrom one hospital to the other. In the process, he met and married his second wife Constance Holmes who was a childhoodfriendto him. However, the second marriage did not last long. He returned to Canada in 1917 where hewas honorably dischargedfrom military service. It is after hisdischargethat hisliteralcareerwouldemerge.

Pauline Johnson passion forliteralworks inspired her to write poems. Her writing manifested while she performed for amateur productions.However, after her father’s death in1884, she assumed theresponsibilityof providing for her mother. Her performances proved to be crucial in earning a sustainableincometosupporther mother and sister. The publication of her work “Acryfrom an Indianwife” in 1885 signified heremergencein theliterallime light. Her works emphasized onnative, historical, cultural and social integration with other communities.

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While Belaney’sliteralwork wascriticalto environmentalpreservationandconservationof nature. Hisintimacywith nature and the outdoors was acriticalelementin his writing. Hisintimateaffairwith a Mohawk Iroquoisladywascriticalin hisliteralfuture. She encouraged him to write about his experiences andpassion. Herinfluenceenabled him to stop trapping and concentrate on publishing his works. Belaney’swritingsignificantly reflected on thewildernessand itspreservation.

As much as Belaney’swritingfocused on the wild, nature and thenativepeople’sspirit, Pauline Johnson emphasized on peace andharmoniouscoexistence between the Indians and the whites. Heremphasison peaceful coexistence between communities illustrates her as a significant historical figure in capturinghistoricalevents that have shaped Canada today. Her work appealing for peace between the whites and the native Indians gave hersignificantpopularity in the literal world. Heraudiencefound her to bepersuasiveand appealing to their sense of belonging.

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Belaney’s conservation efforts aresignificantin his effort tosaveand raiseapairof beavers.His publication of articles as Grey Owl leaned significantly on animal tales. These appeared in forest and outdoors, a Canadian Forestry Associationpublication. These led to Belaney becoming a familiar and popular writer across Canada. Hiscontributionis reflectedin theconservatoryandpreservationefforts for wildlife and their natural habitats in Canada.

Similarly, Pauline Johnsonwas regularly publishedas a Canadian writer where her work appeared in significant periodicals like the week and Saturday night. Johnson’s writingis referencedas crucial in the embodiment of Canada’s national literature. Her works on the Canadian life,natureandpassionillustrateher feminine perspective. Her success, in the event organized by the Young Men's Liberal Association, symbolized theentryinto her stageperformancecareer.

Her performances aligned towards the native culture. She assumed the voice of the native Indianpeopleand represented herself on stage as one. Heradornmentof Indian culturalattireinstagewas significant in passing across her message to the audience across the racial boundaries. She began to be viewed as anexoticandbeautifulperformerrepresenting thenativeperson in a literal perspective.

Though Belaney’s origins sparked criticism andcontroversysignificantlyafter his death, hisliteralworksare regardedas milestones in the publication of Canada’sliteratureon wildlife, conservation and preservation ofindigenousspecies includingpeople. His intimate knowledge, experiences in the Canadian wilderness gave him aperspectivewhich inclined towards theprotectionof natural habitats. His vision of environmental and natural conservation led to hiscontributionandestablishmentof environmental preservation funds, groups and organizations.

Theexpressionof hispassionin hisliteralworks explains the pleasure he got while experiencing the Canadian high mountains, vast forests, the wildlife,magnificentrivers and the Indian people. Keeping thewildernessspirit alive formed a fundamental aspect of his work.Despite the controversy, of hisancestryclaims; Belaney’s intentionwere misconstruedby manyliteralcritics. 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, manyliteralcritics and analysts ignored Pauline Johnson’s work as a contributor tonativeIndian literature and history. Some critics believe that Johnson's popularitywas manifestedin herpersonarather thanwork. However, this school of thoughthas been refutedby an in depthappraisalof her work bysignificantbiographers andliteralresearchers. Johnson’s work is monumental in bringing out the Canadian cultural heritage.

Johnson’s work highlighted the emergence of the newculturewhere womenwere appreciatedasliteralcontributors to Canada’sheritageand history. Her ability to provide for her family after the death of her father iscriticalin negating beliefs of the male dominance in the family setup. Sheis perceivedas a revolutionary in the subjects ofnativerights, race and gender disparity. Herliteralcontributions are significant in the emergence of the new Canada.

Pauline Johnson and Archie Belaney arecrucialin producing Canada’s heritage. Their contributions have enabled the world tounderstandCanada’s social, cultural and environmental history. Each in their own way participatory demonstrated theirpassion. Pauline Johnson writing was not enough for her; therefore, performing was significant in reinforcing themessagedepicted in herliterarywork. On the other hand, Belaneywas actively engagedin his efforts toconserveand protect the wild. His work needed aliteralaspectto expose his work, beliefs and aspirations to the world.

The literal production of the works of these two individuals has facilitated in Canada’stransitionfrom a precolonialdispositionto a post colonial era. Whereliteratureis a tool ofeducationin the country’spastchallenges whose lessons have shaped today’s world.

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