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Music Cape Breton's Diversity in Unity

Artist Harriet Denny

Harriet Denny was born in April, 1900 to Peter Denny and Helen Sylliboy of Eskasoni. Harriet lived all of her life in Eskasoni where she was a community prayer leader, choir leader and traditional storyteller. She was a well respected elder of Eskasoni and was proficient in the verses of the various Mi’kmaq prayers. She, like her sister Annie Cremo and brother Noel P. Denny, were all involved in the recital and recording of Mi’kmaq prayers, hymns and songs. Mi’kmaw poet Rita Joe often consulted with Harriet while developing her poems and writings as Harriet’s knowledge on the Mi’kmaw language and Mi’kmaw traditional stories was immense. Harriet’s storytelling ability was so well known that she was referred to as one of the last great Mi’kmaw storytellers.

Harriet died on October 13, 1986 at the age of 86.