Her Story

About the free-spirited woman who transformed a trapper into a conservationist.

Her Later Years (1960 - 1986)

Despite the difficulty of her circumstances, Anahareo persevered, remained true to her convictions, and ultimately triumphed. As a First Nations woman, a mother, an author, and an influential conservationist, Anahareo found a way to leave her mark, both on her country and on thousands of people who had never met her. 

 Ancestry     • Her Early Years      • Anahareo & Grey Owl       • Finding Her Own Way     
• Her Later Years      • Anahareo Remembered

The 1960s brought with it a renewed public concern about the environment and the health of the planet. It was in this context that interest in Grey Owl's pioneering wilderness conservation work was revived, though along with it came a renewed interest in the more sensational stories about him, some of which were patently untrue. Anahareo's disgust with these stories finally prompted her to write another book -- this time on her own terms.

Devil in Deerskins, was published in 1972 and quickly became a bestseller. For her part, Anahareo came to be in high demand for interviews with national newspapers and broadcasters, not only as an author and as Grey Owl's former partner, but also as an expert in environmental and First Nations affairs.

While she had been writing the book, Anahareo also created a sculpture of Grey Owl with Jelly Roll, which was so well done that the Department of Indian Affairs was inspired to cast it and offer it for sale at Prince Albert National Park. At the same time, the Parks Department finally decided to restore Grey Owl's cabin, which by this point had fallen into a state of decay. This was a triumph not only for Anahareo, but also for her daughter Dawn, who had been fighting for seventeen years to have the cabin repaired.

With her heightened public profile, Anahareo was now well-positioned to make a real difference on environmental issues. After joining the Association for the Protection of Fur Bearing Animals, Anahareo tirelessly campaigned for the banning of leg hold traps and poisons, and for the use of humane traps and alternative means of animal control. As Kristin Gleeson, author of Anahareo: A Wilderness Spirit, observed about this time in Anahareo's life,

"Though the issue was controversial, the media faithfully reported her views, respectfully crediting her with the experience and insight she possessed. Finally, she was appreciated not so much for her curiosity value but for her valid insights."

In 1979, in recognition of her impact on animal rights, Anahareo was nominated for the Order of Nature of the International League for Animal Rights, and in 1983, she was invested as a member of the Order of Canada, Canada's highest honour. Anahareo passed away only three years later, in 1986.

Anahareo was laid to rest with Grey Owl and their daughter, Dawn, near their cabin on Lake Ajawaan, in Prince Albert National Park.

Next: Anahareo Recollected