Eleanor Virginia Johnson was born September 5, 1944. She had 11 brothers and sisters. Eleanor struggled with illness at a young age and spent years in hospital away from her family and community. After finishing grade 11 she decided to attend St.F.X. University to study medicine. While attending St. F. X. she decided to go into nursing and went to St. Rita School of Nursing and graduated with Honours from there with her R.N.’s in 1968. She went to London Ontario after graduation and worked in the Pediatrics Department at St. Joseph’s Hospital for several years. The lure of Cape Breton proved to be strong and she moved back to Cape Breton.
Eleanor Johnson moved back home to her family and she spent some of her time doing volunteer nursing in the community. She had a brief period of employment at Cape Breton Hospital. Eleanor then started to work for the Union of Nova Scotia Indians. Eleanor Johnson then married Patrick Johnson. Eleanor started a family in 1973 and did volunteer work in Eskasoni.
Eleanor went back to University in 1986 and graduated from Cape Breton University with honors in Mi’kmaq, English and History in 1990. Eleanor Johnson works in one of her classes was published and it became a part of the course curriculum in the Mi’kmaq Studies program of Cape Breton University. The title of the book was “Paqtatek.” She then went to Graduate School and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Atlantic Canada Studies in Mi’kmaq History in 1990. Eleanor Johnson is the first person to write her Thesis in her mother tongue ‘Mi’kmaq’ in North America.
Eleanor Johnson then went back to Cape Breton University working as a Coordinator in the Eskasoni Community. She then became an instructor and developed her own courses at Cape Breton University for History and Culture. She was a co-writer for several publications at Cape Breton University.
She retired as an Assistant professor in 2010 and is now doing courses for Cape Breton University on a part time basis. She continues to do volunteer nursing in her home community of Eskasoni to this day.