H. Johnston fonds. -2012. 4.96 m of textual records
and graphic materials. 201 photographs.
Basil H.Johnston, writer, was born in 1929 on Wasauksing First Nation
(formerly Parry Island First Nation) located near Parry Sound,
Ontario, Canada. He was a member of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded
First Nation Band (formerly known as the Cape Croker Band of Ojibwa).
He attended elementary school at the Cape Croker Indian Reserve until
the age of 10, after which he attended the Spanish Indian Residential
School in Spanish, Ontario. He graduated in 1950 and attended Loyola
College in Montreal, where he graduated with a B.A in 1954. From 1955
to 1961 Johnston was employed by the Toronto Board of Trade. He received
his Secondary School Teaching Certificate from the Ontario College of
Education in 1962. From 1962 to 1969 he taught history at Earl Haig
Secondary School in North York. In 1969 he took a position as Ethnologist
at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto where he lectured to public
groups and colleges. He remained at the ROM until 1994 where he worked
with a mandate to record and celebrate Ojibway (Anishinaube) heritage,
especially language and mythology. Johnston had also lectured at many
universities, including the University of Saskatchewan and Trent University.
Johnston was the author of 16 books published in Canada, the United States
and Germany. His books included Indian School Days (1988) and
Moose Meat and Wild Rice (1978). In 1978, Johnston wrote
The Ojibway Language Course Outline and the Ojibway Language
Lexicon for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Johnston was a fluent
speaker and teacher of the Anishinaube language who writes in both English
and Anishinaabemowin. His writings appeared in many newspapers,
anthologies and journals. In 1978 he was narrator and writer for the
script of a film The Man, the Snake and the Fox for the National
Film Board of Canada. In 1982 he established Winter Spirit Creations,
an operation that has supplied Ojibway language print and audio programs
to individuals, schools, colleges and universities in Canada and the
United States. Johnston received the Order of Ontario in 1989 as well
as Honorary Doctorates from the University of Toronto (1994) and Laurentian
University (1998). In 2007 Johnston received the Aboriginal Achievement
Award for Heritage and Spirituality. Johnston passed away on September 8, 2015.
Researchers can find additional information on Basil Johnston in the
following locations: Historical
Perspectives on Canadian Publishing website and in the
McClelland & Stewart fonds and
Key Porter fonds here.
The fonds is arranged into 13 series:
4. Ojibway Language
5. Literary, Editorial and Publishing
6. Royal Ontario Museum and Teaching
7. Lectures, Workshops and Symposiums
8. Radio, Television and Film
9. Residential Schools
10. Land Claims
12. Sound recordings and transcriptions
13. Research materials and other
The fonds contains material in multiple languages: English, French,
Ojibway/Chippewa, Cree, Latin.
Title based on the content of the fonds.
The fonds (33-2012) was acquired from Basil Johnston in 2012
Finding aid available electronically.
There are no access restrictions.
Further accruals are expected.