MATTAWA'S REBEL: Anahareo
Anahareo, formerly known as Gertrude Bernard, was a Mohawk writer, conservationist and prospector born in Mattawa, Ontario in 1906.
Although commonly known as the wife of the controversial British conservationist Archie Belaney, better known as Grey Owl, Anahareo is someone in her own right — fiercely independent and intelligent. She held a strong moral conviction towards protecting wildlife and spent her life travelling extensively in the bush from Wabikon in Temagami to Doucet in Quebec and through these ventures she came to love and protect the beaver.
Since childhood Anahareo forged her own identity despite colonial and patriarchal restraints. And in her own narrative she authored Devil in Deerskins: My Life with Grey Owl that depicts her true life story which has been misrepresented. In her own words, “The usual portrayal of myself has been that of a sweet, gentle Indian maiden—whispering to the leaves—swaying with the breeze, tra, la—. No, no, I’m a rebel really." (1959)
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