Indigenous finalist for new Canadian bank note

OTTAWA – Indigenous poet, E. Pauline Johnson has made it on the long-list as a potential new face to be featured on Canada’s newest bank note.
On International Women’s Day, a public consultation was launched to select an iconic Canadian woman to be featured on the first bank note of the Bank of Canada’s next series to be released in 2018. More than 460 iconic Canadian women met the qualifying criteria through the selection process.

“We believe that the nominees for the bank note should have broken or overcome barriers, be inspirational, have made a significant change and have left a lasting legacy. We applied these four criteria in reviewing each of the 461 eligible unique nominations,” said the advisory council that selected the finalists.

“We also developed operating principles which guided us as we finalized our first recommendation of 12 nominees. We recognize that Canada is comprised of many different communities. The women who appear on our list should resonate with Canadians and reflect the diversity of Canada. Their achievements must be seen in the context of the time they lived,” the council said.

Johnson is known for her poetry that celebrates her indigenous heritage. During her career she adopted her grandfather’s name, Tekahionwake, meaning “double wampum.”

“Throughout her travels Johnson’s recitations of patriotic poems and short stories featuring Canadian culture made her a popular ambassador for Canada,” reads Johnson’s bio on the Bank of Canada’s website.

The list of 12 will soon be cut down to a list of three to five names by the Advisory Council. The council will hear from historical experts before they refine the list.
The Governor of the Bank of Canada will then consult the Minister of Finance on the short-list and then the Minister will make the final decision in accordance with the bank of Canada Act.

The other women on the long-list are; Pitseolak Ashoona; Emily Carr; Thérèse Casgrain; Viola Desmond; Lotta Hitschmanova; Elizabeth (Elsie) MacGill; Nellie McCLung; Lucy Maud Montgomery; Fanny (Bobbie) Rosenfeld; Gabrielle Roy and Idola Saint-Jean.

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