From a small town First Nations girl to an international celebrity and promoter of wilderness conservation, Anahareo was someone who followed her own mind.
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. 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.
The essay Kristin wrote on Anahareo, "Blazing Her Own Trail: Anahareo's Rejection of Euro-Canadian Stereotypes" appears in Recollecting: Lives of Aboriginal Women of the Canadian Northwest and Borderlands, edited by Sarah Carter and Patricia McCormack and published by Athabasca University Press. The publication has won the Canadian Historical Association's Aboriginal history book prize for 2011 and three other prizes.
Published by Fireship Press.
There is a website on Anahareo now: http://www.anahareo.ca