I Was a Culturally Deprived Kid: My Teachers Never Told Me About the Ojibwe Poet Jane Johnston Schoolcraft

Culturally deprived because though I loved this Michigan woodland, I was never introduced as a child to the poetry of Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, who celebrated Michigan's nature. Photo by Barbara Newhall

We shared a love of the Michigan woods — pine, oak and birch. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Jane Johnston Schoolcraft — An Native American Poet, Lost and Found

I loved the Michigan woods as a girl growing up in the 1940s and ’50s. And so did the Ojibwe poet Jane Johnston Schoolcraft. She was born in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the nineteenth century; I was born in the Lower Peninsula in the twentieth. Too bad my Detroit schoolteachers never introduced me to Schoolcraft’s stories and poetry. I’d have found her a kindred spirit. Was I “culturally deprived?”

More on that question and more about this long-forgotten poet and her rediscovery at “Jane Johnston Schoolcraft and the Indian I Wanted to Be.”


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