Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Archibald Stansfeld Belaney [Grey Owl] (1888-1938)

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Archibald Stansfeld Belaney
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Author, environmentalist.

Born in England on 18 September 1888, he came to Canada at an early age. After service in the Canadian forces during the First World War, he was adopted by the Ojibwa in 1920. He adopted Indigenous ways, claiming to be the “half-breed” son of an Apache mother. In 1931 he lived and worked in Riding Mountain National Park, engaged in the conservation of wildlife. He moved on to Prince Albert National Park in Saskatchewan, which served as the arena for most of his best-known work. In the 1930s he became a leading lecturer and writer on conservation, in the process celebrating the lifestyle of the Indigenous people of North America. His most important works were Men of the Last Frontier (1931) and Pilgrims of the Wild (1934). He was married for a time to Gertrude Bernard. He died on 13 April 1938.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Grey Owl’s Cabin (Riding Mountain National Park)

The Great Adventure
Manitoba History, Number 29, Spring 1995

Half-breed: The Story of Grey Owl by Lovat Dickson (1939)

Devil in Deerskins: My Life with Grey Owl by Anahareo (1972)

From the Land of Shadows: The Making of Grey Owl by Donald B. Smith (1990).


Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 3 October 2016

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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