From a small town First Nations girl to an international celebrity and promoter of wilderness conservation, Anahareo was someone who followed her own.
Growing up Gertrude Bernard, an Algonquin/Mohawk girl in a small Ontario town in the time around the First World War, Anahareo was more at home climbing trees and swimming in the river than playing with dolls or sewing samplers. When she was nineteen she convinced her father to let her go and work at Camp Wabikon, a vacation spot for wealthy New Yorkers hoping to experience the wilderness first hand. There she met the handsome and magnetic trail guide, Archie Belaney, who with his long hair, buckskin pants and Hudson’s Bay belt, symbolized everything she desired–an adventurous man of the wilderness. He would later become the controversial wilderness advocate, Grey Owl. The attraction was mutual and Archie wasted no time in inviting the young Gertrude to visit him at his traplines in the bush. Her decision would change her life. mind.