Heritage Day Resources

Rita Joe | Author Bio

Biography posted by Tepi'ketuek Mi'kmaw Archives.

Rita Joe, 1932 — 2007 | Nova Scotia Museum

Vanguard: 150 years of Remarkable Nova Scotians – Women and Men who Changed and Inspired Nova Scotia, 1867—2017.

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development: Rita Joe Teaching Support Documents

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has purchased a collection of Rita Joe’s books for schools across the province, to support Grade 8 and Grade 11 Social Studies and Language Arts (French and English). This collection includes the following titles: 

  • I Lost My Talk
  • We Are the Dreamers: Recent and Early Poetry
  • The Blind Man’s Eyes: New and Selected Poetry
  • The Mi'kmaq anthology. Volume 2: in celebration of the life of Rita Joe
  • Nous sommes les rêveurs 

Song of Rita Joe: Autobiography of a Mi'kmaq poet

For the month of February, download the eBook or audiobook of Rita Joe's autobiography. Unlimited access, no holds or waitlists, simply use your Nova Scotia public library card.

Nova Scotia Public Libraries: Rita Joe Resources (PDF)

Nova Scotia public library resource list, includes books written by Rita Joe, available at your local public library.

The Beaton Institute Digital Archive: Rita Joe Resources (PDF)

The Beaton Institute is the official repository for historically significant records of Cape Breton University. Includes access to a number of collections: Sarah Denny Cultural Collection, Women in Music and audio recordings featuring Rita Joe.

The Nova Scotia Nine: Remarkable Women, Then and Now

Portraits by Jo Napier; stories by Joanne Wise. Halifax, N.S.: published for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women by Communications Nova Scotia, 2014. Read the Chapter on Rita Joe (PDF).

Rita Joe: Song of Eskasoni (video)

Documentary film, 28 minutes, 1993, by Brian Guns. This video is a celebration of the spiritual pride of the Mi'kmaq as embodied in Rita Joe's writings and her life.

Rita Joe National Song Project

In her autobiography, Rita Joe challenges indigenous youth to find their voices, share their stories, and celebrate their talents. Inspired by this idea, the National Arts Centre asked the teachers and students in five communities across Canada to create a song based on what "I Lost My Talk" means to them and their community.

I Lost My Talk | Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan from Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésiea registered charity that promotes poetry in Canadian classrooms.

Rita Joe Scholarship Fund

Scholarship fund to support Mi'kmaw students pursuing education, Community Foundation of Nova Scotia.

Tribute to Mi'kmaq poet highlights key role arts play in reconciliation (video)

Trina Roache, APTN National News. 2:59mins. May 4, 2017.

Respect for Rita Joe: Former Halifax poet laureate pens companion piece to famous poem

Yvette d'Entremont, Star Halifax. Oct 28, 2019.

I Lost My Talk (video)

Global News. 10:39mins. Mar 5, 2016. Residential school took her language away... so Rita Joe used poetry to get her 'talk' back.

Interview with Rita Joe (video)

Video interview by Lesley Choyce for his television program “Choyce Words”: Halifax Cablevision Collection, 1989.

Bringing Home I Lost My Talk / ELMA'TASIK ENTUAP NTLI'SUTIM (video)

In spring 2017, the National Arts Centre Orchestra was hosted by the Eskasoni Mi’kmaw Nation, to present Bringing Home I Lost My Talk. The symbolic heart of the performance was the piece I Lost My Talk, based on the poem by Rita Joe. (NAC video: 1:10:34)