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Canadian Theme Unit
Grey Owl



Grey Owl
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.48

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    archibald, drunkard, standstill, forestry, trapping, conservation, wounded, lied, explosive, income, marriage, sales, immediately, decade, chlorine, assume
     content words:    Archie Belaney, Archibald Stansfeld Belaney, First Nations, North America, Northern Ontario, Grey Owl, Angele Egwuna, Constance Holmes, Gertrude Bernard, Dominion Parks Service


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Grey Owl
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     Has there ever been something you really wanted? What were you willing to do to get it? Were you prepared to lie, cheat, or steal? Archie Belaney wanted something, and he was willing to lie to thousands of people to get his wish. That lie nearly destroyed everything he worked for.
 
2     Archibald Stansfeld Belaney was born in Hastings, England, on September 18, 1888. His mother was only 13 at the time, and his father was a drunkard. He abandoned the family in 1901. After that, his mother gave Archie into the care of his grandmother and two aunts.
 
3     For the next three to four years, young Belaney developed his interest in nature. He loved to read stories of the First Nations of North America. He tried to imagine what it would be like to be a native brave in the Canadian wilderness.
 
4     At the age of 16 Archie went to work at a lumber yard. In his free time he experimented with living off the land. That included learning to make gunpowder. He was fired from his job after dropping a small explosive down his boss's chimney.
 
5     When Archie turned 18, he went to Canada. He moved to Northern Ontario and learned to be a guide. It was then he took his first real step to assume an identity for the life he'd always wanted. He was adopted by an Ojibwa tribe after telling them he was half Apache. They gave him the name "Grey Owl" and taught him their language and culture.
 
6     It was while he was living there that he met a native woman named Angele Egwuna. They married and had two children together. During this time he worked for Canada's forestry service.
 
7     When WWI broke out, Belaney joined the army. He was eventually wounded in the foot while in France and sent back to England to recover. It had been three years since he had seen his wife, and he chose to forget she existed.
 
8     While there, he met an old sweetheart, Constance Holmes, and married her. The marriage quickly failed, and Archie returned home to Canada. He went back to working for the forestry service and trapped on the side.
 
9     In 1925, he met an Iroquois woman, Gertrude Bernard. He gave her the name Anahareo. She hated trapping and tried to convince "Grey Owl" to stop. It wasn't until he killed a mother beaver, leaving her two kits orphaned, that he changed his mind.

Paragraphs 10 to 16:
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