DECEMBER 8, 1921

GWICH’IN WRITER COLUMNIST EDITH JOSIE BORN

Born in Eagle, Alaska, her family moved to Old Crow, Yukon, when she was 16.   Edith left school after fifth grade, but learned to read and write from her brother.  In 1957, she was appointed Justice of the Peace for Old Crow.  She started writing for the Whitehorse Star in 1962 when the newspaper wanted a villager to write about life in the Yukon.  Her column, Here Are the News, ran for 40 years.  She wrote in English, using Gwich’in syntax, and with little attention to spelling, grammar, or punctuation.  Yet, her stories appeared in newspapers in Toronto, Edmonton, Fairbanks (Alaska) and California.  In 1965, Life Magazine published a 4-page article on her entitled Everybody Sure Glad.  Her work was recognized internationally and her articles have been published.  Edith received the Canadian Centennial Medal (1967), the Yukon Historical Museums Award (1994), and the Aboriginal Achievement Award (2000).  Edith is also a member of the Order of Canada (1995).  She died January 31, 2010 in Old Crow.

Source:  “Edith Josie,” Library and Archives Canada.  Retrieved 7/22/2019, https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/women/030001-1469-e.html
Photo:  Edith Josie writing her newspaper column from Old Crow, Yukon, ca. 1972.  Richard Harrington fonds 85/25 #337, PHO 278 Courtesy of Yukon Archives.  

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