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Pauline JohnsonHistory of Pauline Johnson Elementary School

Emily Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) (March 10, 1861-March 7, 1913) was a Mohawk born at Chiefswood, the family home on the Six Nations reserve on the Grand River. She had a very conventional upbringing, being educated by a governess at home. She wrote poetry and even performed with the Hamilton Dramatic Society.

Her poetry was first published in 1883 and in 1892 at age 31. For seventeen years she entertained audiences in Canada, the United States of America, and England. Her stage performances emphasized her love for her Indigenous heritage, as well as her beloved Canada. Pauline Johnson died in 1913 and is buried in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Pauline Johnson Elementary School first opened its doors to students on September 5, 1967, however, it was not until November 4, 1968, that the school was opened with an official ceremony. The auditorium was decorated with many pieces of student artwork celebrating Pauline Johnson’s heritage.

Upon opening, the school housed 14 classrooms and 345 students. By 1977 the school population had fallen somewhat but it became the first elementary school on Hamilton mountain to offer French immersion instruction. French and English programmes co-existed until Norwood Park Elementary School was reopened in September 1987, which caused the relocation of the French immersion programme. Pauline Johnson Elementary School reached its peak enrollment of 481 students in 1989.

In 1992-1993 Pauline Johnson Elementary School celebrated its 25th Anniversary — 25 years of following the spirit of Pauline Johnson by encouraging independent, lifelong learners with a love for literature, heritage, and Canada.

On May 18, 2017, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary by having an open house to showcase a building addition of new classrooms and a new gymnasium.

Updated on Wednesday, January 10, 2024.
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