R.I.P. Alice Munro (1931 – 2024)

“Compared to Anton Chekhov for her peerless short stories for which she won a Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013, Alice Munro (left) has died.FULL STORY


Chapter Three

December 15th, 2016

Sixty-Seven Years Old and What Next?

As some of Alice Ravenhill’s critics have noticed, she had little previous knowledge in Indigenous arts and crafts or ethnology prior to 1926. After returning ill and defeated to Canada in 1919, Ravenhill had gradually disengaged herself from home economics education, except for the occasional foray into writing letters of support for a school of home economics at the University of British Columbia. Ravenhill began to renew her association with the Women’s institutes of British Columbia and served on a committee for their current project, a suitable home on Vancouver Island for children with disabilities.

The Queen Alexandra Solarium, opened in 1925 at Mill Bay, was the outcome of the committee efforts. Ravenhill also became involved in Anglican study circles at Christ Church Cathedral and was occasionally asked to substitute for the Dean, Dr. Cecil Quainton, to lead the circles. But this was not quite enough to hold her interest. When the Women’s Institute asked Ravenhill to research native designs for the then-current vogue of hooked rugs in 1926, she immediately turned to the British Columbia Provincial Museum, following her usual tactics of starting at the top.

Ravenhill’s association with the Museum began after what is often referred to as “the classical period in North American anthropology,”[1] the years between 1880-1920 when the entire cultures of North American Indigenous peoples were undergoing extensive documentation and ruthless collection.[2]

Founded in 1886, the Provincial Museum was initially housed in a little room next to the Provincial Secretary’s office in the old Legislative buildings. The location was soon too small and the Museum was moved to larger accommodation in the East Wing of Francis Rattenbury’s new Legislative Buildings under the curatorship of John Fannin.[3] It expanded to the main floor and then a basement was excavated under the East Wing for the ever-growing collections.

Dr. Charles Frederick Newcombe (1851-1924) played a critical part in obtaining Indigenous artifacts. [4] He had come to Victoria as a psychiatrist in 1889 and found himself much more interested in the newly established museum than in medical practice. After his wife died in childbirth in 1891, he took his three oldest children to England for schooling and enrolled himself in a formal course in geology at the University of London. Upon return to Victoria in 1892, he became a collector of Indigenous artifacts for, among others, Franz Boas of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and also the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. [5]

Newcombe appeared to be first in line to assume the curatorship of the museum when John Fannin retired in 1903, but instead, Francis Kermode (1874-1946), a junior staff member, was appointed.[6] Corley-Smith speculates that Newcombe did not consider the director’s salary to be sufficient, although there is no direct evidence of this.

While Ravenhill never worked directly with C.F. Newcombe, she benefited from the knowledge he passed on to his son, William Arnold Newcombe (1884-1960).[7] Willy (sometimes referred to as Billy or Willie) was his father’s frequent companion on collecting expeditions up and down the Pacific Coast, often in their own sailboat.

In 1904 C.F. Newcombe put together an impressive Northwest Coast exhibit for the St. Louis World’s Fair that included seven representative Indigenous people, a large house, two canoes and a collection of numerous objects. The exhibit demonstrated a common belief of the times, “that there is [emphasis in original] a course of progress running from lower to higher humanity.”[8] When C.F. Newcombe had to return to Chicago to work on his cataloguing and collecting, he left Willy with the exhibit “as hostage” (an undefined role, perhaps, but definitely a position of responsibility).[9]

Many additional learning experiences gained through his father’s connections made Willy Newcombe one of the most knowledgeable people on the topic of Indigenous studies in British Columbia. He became Assistant Ethnologist at the Museum in 1928, four years after his father’s death. Then the trouble started, according to Corley-Smith: “Friends, associates and correspondents of both the elder and younger Newcombe began to renew their contacts with the Museum, largely ignoring Kermode as they did so. And Kermode, always jealous of his prerogatives as director, became increasingly resentful.”[10]

When Alice Ravenhill began her research in 1926, nothing was catalogued in the Museum and she characterized her research method as “Dig, dig, dig for yourself.”[11] Although Francis Kermode was suspicious of Alice Ravenhill, he gave her open access to the collections.

At first Ravenhill had assistance from a young couple, Frank and Sylvia Holland, who were both qualified architects and interested in commercial development of original native designs.[12] Frank Holland’s untimely death in 1928 ended a promising collaboration. Willy Newcombe lent Ravenhill one of Franz Boas’ books in 1929; when she sent her thanks, she also wrote, “How the Hollands would have devoured such a book a year ago.”[13]

Right from the start, Ravenhill admitted her lack of knowledge, thanking Newcombe for his forbearance with her “crude ignorance of a subject in which you are so deeply versed.”[14] The Ravenhills and Newcombes were near neighbours on Dallas Road, and Willy was a good friend of Alice’s brother Horace.[15] She frequently sent notes with her brother to Newcombe, asking to trace various designs or for his advice about appropriate colours and giving him updates on her crafts projects that she had started to sell at various shops in Victoria.

She wrote to Newcombe as a friend, not just for information, frequently inviting him to lunch and dinner and occasionally making personal comments about herself. Once, she plaintively asked, “Could I reverse the figures of my age and be full of the vigours of 27 instead of the disabilities of 72.”[16]

Along with many other residents of Victoria, Ravenhill was outraged at Newcombe’s firing from the Museum in 1933. The disagreements between Newcombe and Kermode, which ranged from authorship of scientific papers to letters arriving at the Museum addressed innocently to “W.A. Newcombe, Director,” had culminated in a false accusation of theft towards Newcombe, who retreated to his house and his large collection of B.C. Indigenous artifacts.[17]

While ostracized by the Museum, well-known ethnologists such as Franz Boas and Marius Barbeau continued to include Newcombe in their visits to Victoria.[18] He became known as Emily Carr’s handyman, providing her with photographs to paint from, building shelves, organizing her oils and crating her paintings for exhibitions, as well as helping many people in need around Victoria.[19]

The mischances of life continued for the Ravenhill family as well. Margaret Ravenhill, the oldest sister had come to visit them in 1931; the three sisters had not seen each other for twenty-one years. Three days before Margaret’s arrival Edith slipped and broke a bone in one foot; then two days later Margaret fell on the ship deck and fractured a thigh. For several months the Dallas Road bungalow had to accommodate seven people — two invalids, two nurses, a household help, and Alice and Horace.[20] These events occasioned the 1934 move of the elderly siblings to a series of residential hotels in Victoria. In 1935 Alice and Edith took their last vacation, up to Stewart, B.C., by the Union Steamship, Catala.[21]

That same year the indefatigable Horace Ravenhill carried out a long-standing desire to visit Nova Scotia. He then cycled the 3,000 miles back home to Victoria, at the age of 72. His sister’s journey would be no less impressive.

When the Museum received monies from the Carnegie Foundation for speakers on native arts and crafts in 1935, Newcombe declined to participate. Alice Ravenhill, by default and through her association with Newcombe, was the best person available for the job. She was hired to give four weekly talks, and for this, she used her old teaching strategies from her work as a health and hygiene worker in the 1890s in England.

She made small models and borrowed artifacts from the Museum and “not too valuable specimens” from Newcombe’s private collection.[22] Ravenhill was back in her element as a lecturer; she described the contents of her talks in her autobiography:

The wealth of illustrative materials held the interests of the adults and children alike, as they were introduced, with the assistance of models and actual tools, to tribal methods of felling trees and splitting planks with stone axes and wooden wedges; of erecting wooden houses without nails; of weaving cloth from cedar and other fibres; of preparing camass bulbs for food; or of carving canoes from the trunks of cedars.[23]

Ravenhill’s first big project that drew upon her research at the Museum was a B.C. school textbook, Native Tribes of British Columbia published in 1938. In the fall of 1936 she had been asked to give a short introduction about Indigenous life in British Columbia at the Victoria Normal School, and learned that an eight weeks’ course had been included in the grade school curriculum with no “authentic guidance being provided for the teachers who had to give it.” [24]

She convinced Dr. George Weir, the Minister of Education to let her write a textbook. She completed an outline and then met with Dr. S.J. Willis,[25] the Deputy Minister, which she reported to Newcombe:

[Dr. Willis] was pleased with my outline but regretted I had written as little to illustrate how the subject matter would be handled. I said frankly I did not propose to give time or concentrate on chance; I had plenty of other calls for my work.  So he said if after discussing the idea with Dr. Weir, would I prepare one chapter at my own price. To this I agreed.  I assure you I assumed a self confidence I am far from feeling! Though I have plenty of educational experience behind me, but if anything comes of it I would spare no trouble to be accurate.[26]

A specimen chapter was sent to Dr. Willis a couple of months later. Ravenhill sent a note to Newcombe saying that he would “no doubt detect many errors.”[27]  She also asked him for a reprint of his article on totem poles for her to send to her old friend Sir Michael Sadler.[28] Ravenhill’s anxiety increased about the accuracy of her information when she learned that the book was going to be available to the public as well as to every elementary and secondary school in the Province.

In a Christmas, 1937 letter to Newcombe, all of her worries came to the fore:

[W]ould you allow me to ask you a question  but I beg you not to let it break a friendship I value – would you allow me to ask you half a dozen questions on the points with which I feel most in need of your profound knowledge?… As you are aware, I have had no help from any source, but have had to rely on wide reading & notes I have made on talks in former days with you.[29]

With the help of Dr. Ian McTaggart-Cowan at the Museum, Native Tribes was published in 1938 and copies were made available to every elementary and secondary school in the Province. It fitted perfectly with the newly elected Liberal government’s agenda of progressive education and curriculum reform. The Putman-Weir Survey of the B.C. School System in 1926 had opened the doors to more child-centred education with less emphasis on academics and more on civics, current events and projects, and with the 1935 curriculum reform, more things seemed possible despite the monetary constraints of the Great Depression.[30]

Ravenhill was thrilled when Lady Tweedsmuir, wife of the Governor-General of Canada, gave a copy of Native Tribes to Queen Elizabeth, consort of King George VI, on the couple’s visit to Canada in 1939.[31] How much the textbook was actually used in schools cannot be determined.


“The Native Tribes of British Columbia” was widely distributed to BC schools. Photo by author.

Native Tribes was reviewed by a number of sources. The Very Reverend Spencer H. Elliott, the new Anglican Dean of Columbia, was effusive in his compliments, stating that it was on par in quality, if not quantity, with “the famous Frazer’s Golden Bough.”[32]

Unfortunately but perhaps predictably, the undercurrent of opinion at the Museum seemed generally negative. When Ravenhill wrote to Kermode for permission to lend some cuts from Native Tribes to Canon Jocylyn Perkins, secretary of the British Church League Society, Kermode replied:

I think it would be advisable for you to inform the Reverend Canon that very little work has been done by the Indians of the Pacific Northwest Coast for the last fifty years and that at the present time they are highly civilized and run motor cars and motor boats. I ask you to do this as I do not wish people in the old country to get the wrong impression regarding British Columbia and the Northwest coast of America.[33]

Dr. Diamond Jenness, chief anthropologist of the National Museum in Ottawa (and a former houseguest of the Ravenhills at Shawnigan Lake), reviewed the book for the B.C. Historical Quarterly. In a letter to Newcombe, Jenness commented that he hoped he had done the review nicely, “in a way that will not hurt the dear old lady.” He thought there were a lot of errors but Ravenhill still deserved credit for her “courage and pertinacity.”[34]

Jenness recognized Native Tribes as a valuable source of information on material culture, “especially appreciated by museum workers who have to arrange and display ethnological specimens from British Columbia.” He pointed out small errors, notably misidentification of sopallaly as a seaweed rather than a berry (which could have been easily corrected if the book had been reviewed by a trained ethnologist).[35]

Jenness saved his most severe criticism for the sections on political organization, social life, religious beliefs, and secret societies. “The author seems not to have fully understood some of the phenomena she describes.” Ravenhill had the potlatch completely wrong, he wrote, and would have benefitted from reading recent publications such as one by H.G. Barnett in the American Anthropologist.[36] But in spite of this, Jenness concluded that:

The reviewer knows from personal experience how difficult it is for a white person to comprehend the Indian’s outlook on society and on life, and if the reviewer finds Miss Ravenhill’s interpretations of Indian society and religion not always convincing, this in no way lessens his admiration for her diligence and skill in condensing so great an amount of indisputably authentic fact within so short a space.[37]

Ravenhill apparently viewed the critique as favourable, writing to Dr. Clifford Carl a number of years later that Jenness  “wrote a particularly kindly review of my efforts quite soon after [the] publication.”[38]

Native Tribes consisted of twenty-two chapters and twenty-five illustrations that Jenness considered very well chosen. The main sources were standard information and illustrations from several sources, including a 1909 report by Dr. C.F. Newcombe, research by Charles Hill-Tout, and work by Harlan I. Smith.[39]

The potlatch section had its own chapter.  Ravenhill outlined the origin and objects and explained how potlatches were organized. While stating that the ostensive objective was to maintain standard and rank, she described it as a “contest in ambition, frequently malicious in its object of humiliating rivals by outdoing them in the distribution of property.”[40] She also emphasized the negative aspects of potlatches, describing long speeches that glorified the host, while “all others present being scorned and ridiculed in terms of arrogant contempt.”[41] In fact, the Barnett article included this information as well (whether accurate or not), and it is difficult to understand Jenness’s complaints.[42]

Ravenhill was open about the need for improving some sections of Native Tribes: in a 1943 letter to Clifford Carl, who had by then succeeded Kermode as Director of the Museum, Ravenhill stated that, “The section on the Potlatch calls for entire rewriting as a result of U.S.A. research papers and I have also learned much more… since I prepared the book solely for Teachers.”[43]

* * *

Ravenhill was proud of a needlework design of a raven that she made for Queen Elizabeth, consort of King George VI. She had obtained the original raven design from Newcombe; the issue of whether it was suitable for white women to appropriate Indigenous designs probably never occurred to her.  Appropriation of culture was not a public discussion point in the 1930s and 40s, and a 1995 critique of Ravenhill’s work points out that white supporters of the native arts and crafts revival considered that ethnicity and style were inextricably linked: in other words, what mattered most in a piece of Indigenous art work was whether it represented preconceived notions and stereotypes of Indigenous peoples, not who did it.[44]

Ravenhill, by using these designs, could consider that she was promoting them. Sylvia Olsen presents a different criterion for Indigenous authenticity, particularly in the case of the famous Cowichan sweater, suggesting that authentic objects should have been made by “real Indian[s].”[45] Similarly, Richard Handler suggests that authenticity is a cultural construct of the Western world, based on the presupposition that a person who chooses authenticity is actually reaffirming his/her existence.[46]

After the success of Native Tribes of British Columbia, Ravenhill continued to find items in the Provincial Museum that expanded her personal definition of what constituted “authentic” Indigenous art. She started to design, make and sell cushions, book bags, and rugs that used Indigenous designs, and sold them in a couple of Victoria shops. She frequently consulted Newcombe about authenticity. When she did a cushion for a friend in England, she asked, “Might I use pale blue, deep cream and black without violating too reprehensively the canons of BC Indian art?”[47]

Ravenhill’s designs were from the large collection at the Provincial Museum.  One that she used several times was from a spinning or spindle whorl, collected by James Deans in 1868, described by Ravenhill as a Thunderbird holding a whale in his talons, with a lightning snake used as a harpoon.[48] Ravenhill’s wool-and-fabric renditions of this whorl on a handbag and a bridge pad wallet, while showing fine workmanship, lacked the elegance of the original whorl, which was carved out of maple wood with a fine patina from years of use.

Ravenhill took a more economic and practical standpoint on Indigenous arts and crafts. She held the common belief that the “Indian” was latently artistic; she thought the old designs needed to be preserved; at the same time truly gifted artists should not have their spontaneity dampened; children should not copy off each other but should be encouraged to draw from their own lives; and arts and crafts should be authentic in order to replace the currently available “atrocious knickknacks” that passed as genuine.[49]

Indigenous artists were concerned about the same issue: Ellen Neel, a Kwakwaka’wakw carver made a similar complaint that her carving business was being undermined by cheap Japanese totem pools coming onto the North American market.[50]

Ravenhill became interested in a large number of Indigenous legends in the Museum that had been collected by James Teit and Charles Newcombe, among others, which led her to contact Reverend John C. Goodfellow, a keen historian living in Princeton, B.C. for information about rock paintings and petroglyphs.[51] Goodfellow in turn gave her the name of Anthony Walsh, teacher at the Inkameep Indian Day School, this initiating a rewarding relationship between Walsh and Ravenhill.  On the surface, they did not have much in common; she was eighty, he was forty; she was an Anglican with a long career in education, he was an Irish Roman Catholic who had unexpectedly fallen into teaching.

Much has been written about the teaching career of Anthony Walsh (1898-1994).[52] His background was eclectic; he was born in France where his Irish father trained thoroughbred horses for aristocrats and the family moved around a great deal in his youth. He served with the Irish Guards in the Great War, attended Reading University near London as an agricultural student, and came to Canada in 1923. He fell into teaching in 1930 when Father Carlyle of Bear Creek (near Kelowna) asked him to finish the term at the Indian Day School at Six Mile in the North Okanagan.

Walsh had been teaching at Inkameep for seven years when Ravenhill first contacted him. His initial reaction to Inkameep foreshadowed the remarkable teaching years that followed; in an informal autobiography, he wrote, “Within three weeks I realized that these Indian children were of a creative and talented people.  And they were not dirty and decadent as thought by many of their white neighbors.”[53]

Walsh’s first year at Inkameep was inauspicious; he felt he had been unable to connect with his students. In the summer between his first and second year he took a teacher-training course at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and read all he could find on Indigenous matters in the library. In his second year, he discovered his students’ interests and talents lay in the arts — drama, painting and drawing.

Andrea Walsh (no relation) relates how Anthony Walsh became acquainted with the work of the renowned art educator, Franz Cizek, through the Junior Red Cross Magazine. Walsh sent a portfolio of the Inkameep children’s art to Cizek in Vienna for his evaluation.  A reply was received from Wilhelm Viola, the Secretary General of the Austrian Youth Red Cross [Österreichisches Jugendrotkreuz] that included an informal evaluation from Professor Cizek who reportedly did not like the perspective used by Baptiste, but held the opinion that “there is more creativeness in your children than is shown by some of the children.”[54]

Franz Cizek (1865-1946) was an important proponent of the child study movement that had begun with Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852), founder of the Kindergarten in Germany.[55] Briefly stated, Froebel’s main contribution to educational thought was his “belief that a child’s chief characteristic is self-activity that is determined by personal interests and desires.”[56] Cizek focused on art and he believed that children had an “innate creative impulse”[57] and should be allowed to draw what they wanted.[58]

Alice Ravenhill’s background in early childhood education echoed many aspects of Cizek’s philosophy particularly as it related to Froebel. In England she had been an active participant in the child study movement and a member of the Froebel National Union. To Ravenhill, Walsh’s successful work with the Inkameep children confirmed the Froebelian ideas of less teacher-direction and more self-expression and development of individual initiative.[59]

Well before Walsh and Ravenhill started their correspondence, Walsh’s students had won awards for their art.  In 1936 Francis Jim Baptiste’s painting, “Indian Boys in Training” was awarded the Bronze Star by the Royal Drawing Society, and in 1937 he won the Silver Star for his painting, “St. Francis Feeding the Birds.”[60]  Another student, Johnnie Stalkia [also written Stelkia], earned two Bronze stars in 1937 as well.

In her first letter to Anthony Walsh in January of 1939, Alice Ravenhill explained that she was preparing specimens for a publication on “Legends of Our Native Tribes.” She had two main aims: to “draw attention to [the] charms and interesting light thrown upon former customs by these legends,” and to “make more widely known artistic skill, vivid imagination and clever adaptations lavished by these people upon their possessions.”[61] In a subsequent letter, she thanked Walsh for two paper cut figures made by his students that he had sent to her, “ One of the leaping salmon, the other I guess to be a lizard.”[62]

When Ravenhill heard a radio broadcast by Walsh’s students, she commented on how good it was to hear about his whole-hearted desire to raise native people in public estimation.[63] They exchanged project ideas; Walsh sent Ravenhill the script that he and his students had composed about the Tale of the Nativity as if it had taken place in the South Okanagan.[64] The first version of the story had been visual, not written; the students had drawn out their ideas on the blackboards and walls of their one-room schoolhouse.

In return, Ravenhill sent a photograph of some of her own stitchery using Native designs and bemoaned her inability to find a protégé to carry on her work:

I have specialized for years in this method of reproducing Indian designs, including imbricated baskets, and my work has gone all over the Empire, but I can secure no follower; young people won’t take the necessary trouble to study the significance and practice the absolute accuracy.[65]

Along with the script, Walsh had sent some drawings by a former student, Francis Jim Baptiste.[66]  Ravenhill saw great promise in Baptiste’s work and solicited comments about the drawings from a couple of Victoria residents she considered knowledgeable about art. Monsieur Radin, described as late Curate of one of the Art Departments of the Louvre Museum, Paris, suggested that “the lad…possess[es] undoubted talent especially in the direction of decorative ability.”[67]  After critiquing one of the drawings, Radin suggested that Baptiste “should give attention to the portrayal of the family life and customs of his people, such as fishing, hunting or round the campfire.”[68]

The second person was Katharine Maltwood, a talented English sculptor newly-arrived in Victoria and “a student of Greek and Persian as well as Chinese and Japanese art.”[69] After endorsing M. Radin’s suggestion that Baptiste should turn his attention to subjects other than horses, Maltwood offered to buy one of his drawings for $3.00. Both art experts wanted to see Baptiste reflect his culture — not grow from it.[70]

Where would Ravenhill go with this next? As we might expect by now, she threw all her wit and energy into the biggest projects of her Canadian career.


Alice Ravenhill shows handicrafts that she has made for sale. Note her nephew Leslie’s photograph behind her. 1941. Courtesy Rare Books and Special Collections, UBC [RBSC – UBC].

[1] This term is from J. Thompson, Recording their story: James Teit and the Tahltan (Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver/Toronto, 2007), p. 2.

[2] For more information on this politically-charged topic and the questionable methods used by the early collectors, see Douglas Cole, Captured Heritage: The Scramble for Northwest Coast Artifacts (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995).

[3] John Fannin (1837-1904) was one of the original Overlanders who came to B.C. as part of the Cariboo Gold Rush.  Fannin was a jack of all trades and a naturalist at heart. Corley-Smith in White Bears and Other Curiosities (RBCM special publication, 1989) suggests that Fannin was chosen because he had guided many wealthy and influential people on hunting trips.  “It was an inspired choice” writes Corley-Smith (p. 24).  See also: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/fannin_john_13E.html

[4] See the Dictionary of Canadian Biographyhttp://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/newcombe_charles_frederic_15E.html

[5] Corley-Smith, p. 36.

[6] Kermode began working at the Museum as an apprentice taxidermist in 1890. The Kermode (not “Kermodee”) bear, now more commonly known as the Spirit Bear, was named for him.  See Corley-Smith, pp. 45-54.

[7] J. Bosher, Vancouver Island in the Empire (LLumina Press, 2010, e-book).

[8] Cole, Captured Heritage, p. 201. Ravenhill repeated this theme in her foreword to Native Tribes of British Columbia (1938).

[9] Ibid., p. 205.

[10] Corley-Smith, p. 78.

[11] Alice Ravenhill [AR] to Anthony Walsh [AW], 7 March, 1940. Alice Ravenhill fonds, Box 1 – File 8, UBC Special Collections [UBCSC].  Ravenhill and Walsh corresponded extensively between 1939 and 1943, the four years of Ravenhill’s greatest involvement with Indigenous arts and crafts. They became good friends and served as each other’s confidants in many situations.

[12] Frank Holland and Sylvia Moberly met at the Architectural Association School in London. Soon after graduation, they married and moved to Victoria where they designed an arts and crafts house at 1170 Tattersall Drive in Saanich. After Frank’s death at the age of 28, Sylvia tried to get architectural commissions in Victoria and designed two houses. Ravenhill visited her at Frank’s parents’ farm in Metchosin on occasion. In 1938, Sylvia and her two children moved to California, where she became one of the first female animators for Walt Disney. http://evelazarus.com/sylvia-holland-1900-1974/.  Two framed needlepoint pictures in the RBCM ethnology division are credited as being designed by Sylvia Holland for Alice Ravenhill, giving a hint of what the collaboration between the Hollands and Ravenhill might have become but for Frank’s premature death.

[13] AR to W.A. Newcombe, [WN] 6 June, 1929.  Add. Mss 1077. AO1753 Vol. 14, Folder 95, Newcombe Collection. BC Archives and Records Service (BCARS)

[14] AR to W.A. Newcombe, [WN] 6 June, 1929.  BCARS Newcombe Collection.

[15] The Ravenhill house at 23 Dallas Road (now 23 Paddon Road) still stands.  See: http://www.victoriaheritagefoundation.ca/HReg/JamesB/Paddon23.html

[16] AR to WN, 20 December, 1931, Newcombe Collections, BCA.

[17] Corley-Smith, White Bears, pp. 78-82. See also B. Hudson, “Victoria’s gentle servant of the arts,” The Daily Colonist, 6 September 1964, pp. 3-6. BCA.

[18] See AR to WN, 21 September, 1939, BCA. Ravenhill asked Newcombe to remind Dr. Marius Barbeau, a well-known ethnologist, of the latter’s undertaking to see her.

[19] “A great loss,” Victoria Colonist, 10 December, 1960, p. 5. Letter to the Editor from Betty C. Newton.

[20] Memoirs, p. 207.

[21] Memoirs, p. 208.

[22] AR to WN, 26 April 1935. Add. Mss 1077. AO1753 Vol. 14, Folder 95.BCA.

[23] Memoirs, p. 210.

[24] Memoirs, p. 211.

[25] Samuel John Willis was one of several Prince Edward Islanders who came West to further their careers.  It was a stroke of luck for Ravenhill to work with this long-serving supporter of progressive child-centred education. See V. Giles, “Historical Evolution of the Office of Deputy Minister in British Columbia Educational Policymaking 1919-1945: The Career of Samuel John Willis” (Ph.D. diss., University of British Columbia, 1994): https://circle.ubc.ca/bitstream/id/17613/ubc_1994-894091.pdf

[26] AR to WN, 26 November, 1936, Newcombe Collection, BCA.

[27] AR to WN, 29 January, 1937, Newcombe Collection, BCARS.

[28] Ibid.

[29] AR to WN, n.d. Christmas, 1937, Newcombe Collection, BCARS.

[30] Giles, “Historical Evolution,” p. 45.

[31] AR to Senator Barnard, 7 May 1940, Library Archives of Canada [LAC], RG 10, Vol. 7919, File 41203-1

[32] The Daily Colonist, 9 April, 1938.  Thanks to G. Keddie, Royal BC Museum, for locating this reference.  See also James Frazer, The Golden Bough (New York: MacMillan, 1922).  This immense book is an early anthropology classic on the study of comparative folklore, magic and religion. See http://www.bartleby.com/196/

[33] AR to F. Kermode,  5 December, 1938,  GR-0111 Box 16 File 27 BCA.

[34] Diamond Jenness to W.A. Newcombe, 6 January, 1939. Add. Mss. 1077 Vol. 12, Folder 69 BCA.

[35] D. Jenness, The Northwest Bookshelf (King’s Printer, Victoria, BC, 1939, p. 74). Royal BC Museum [RBCM].

[36] Barnett, H.G. “Nature of the Potlatch”, American Anthropologist, July-September, 1938, Vol. 40 (3): 349-358.

[37] Jenness, The Northwest Bookshelf.

[38] AR to Dr. Clifford Carl, 28 August, 1948, GR-0111 Box 16 File 27 BCA.

[39] This information was provided by Grant Keddie, Archaeology Curator, RBCM, and is gratefully acknowledged.

[40] A. Ravenhill, The Native Tribes of British Columbia (King’s Printer, Victoria, BC, 1938), p. 119.

[41] Ibid.

[42] For scholarly discussion of the potlatch, see D. Cole & Ira Chaikin, An Iron Hand Upon the People: the Law Against the Potlatch on the Northwest Coast (Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver/Toronto, 1990).

[43] AR to Dr. Clifford Carl, 11 January, 1943. GR-0111, 16-27 BCA.

[44] Scott Watson, “The modernist past of Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun’s landscape allegories,” in L. Paul (ed.), Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun: Born to live and die on your colonialist reservations.  Catalogue of an exhibition held at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery 20 June-16 September, 1995 (University of British Columbia, 61-71).

[45] See S. Olsen, Working with Wool: A Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater Sono Nis Press, Winlaw, BC (2010). pp. 176-189.

[46] See R. Handler, “Authenticity”, Anthropology Today, Vol. 2, No. 1, (1986), pp. 2-4.

[47] AR to Newcombe, 4 Feb. 1935, Add. Mss. 1077, AO1753 Vol. 14, Folder 95, BCA.

[48] These items may be viewed at the RBCM.  Thanks to Brian Seymour for his assistance in locating the items.

[49] AR to Captain G. Barry, 26 Feb. 1941. Add. Mss. 1116 Box 1 BCA.

[50]  Olsen, Working with Wool, p. 282.

[51] John C. Goodfellow, a United Church minister in Princeton, B.C. and a very keen historian. See The Story of Princeton, http://goodfellow.mozey-on-inn.com/index.html

[52]For a discussion of Walsh’s teaching career that briefly mentions Ravenhill, see T. Fleming, L. Smith, & H. Raptis, “An accidental teacher: Anthony Walsh and the Indigenous Day Schools at Six Mile Creek and Inkameep, British Columbia, 1929-1942,” Historical Studies in Education/Revue d’histoire de l’éducation Vol.19, no. 1 (2007): 1-24.

[53] Andrea Walsh, The Inkameep Indian School (n.d.).  Retrieved from Osoyoos Museum. http://osoyoosmuseum.ca/index.php/exhibits/collections/inkameep-day-school/16-exhibits/specialexhibits/inkameep/61-the-inkameep-indian-school.html.

[54] W. Viola to A. Walsh, 18 June, 1936, Anthony Walsh fonds, UBCSCL.

[55] Siege, Alexander W., and Sheldon H. White. “The child study movement: Early growth and development of the symbolized child.” Advances in child development and behavior 17 (1982): 233-285.

[56] Michael, J.A., and T.W. Morris.  “European influences on the theory and philosophy of Viktor Lowenfeld.” Studies in art education Vol. 26, No. 2 (1985): 103-110.

[57] Ibid., p. 105.

[58] Meeson, Philip. “In search of child art.” The British Journal of Aesthetics 25.4 (1985): 362-371.

[59] Williams, Leslie R., and Doris P. Fromberg, eds. Encyclopedia of early childhood education. Vol. 30. Routledge, 2012. p. 51

[60] Fleming, Raptis & Smith,, p. 12.

[61] Alice Ravenhill to Anthony Walsh [AR to AW], 18 January, 1939, File 1-8, UBCSCL.

[62] AR to AW, 4 February, 1939,  File 1-8, UBCSCL.

[63] Alice Ravenhill to Anthony Walsh [AR to AW], 13 October, 1939, File 1-8, UBCSCL.

[64] Ibid.

[65] AR to AW, 31 October, 1939, File 1-8, UBCSCL

[66] Baptiste was also spelled “Batiste.”  See A. Twigg, Indigenousity: The Literary Origins of British Columbia, Vol. 2 (Ronsdale Press, Vancouver, 2005, p. 192) for a succinct summary of Baptiste’s artistic career.  

[67] AR to AW, 8 December, 1939, Box 1, File 8, Alice Ravenhill fonds, UBCSCL

[68] Ibid.

[69] Ibid.

[70] For Maltwood, see K.A. Finlay, ed., “A Woman’s Place”: Art and the Role of Women in the Cultural Formation of Victoria, B.C., 1850s-1920s (Victoria: University of Victoria, 2004; catalogue of exhibition held at the Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery, September 2004-January 2005).

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