Noel Stewart to Alice Ravenhill (Dec.21, 1940)


Noel Stewart to Alice Ravenhill (Dec.21, 1940)


Noel Stewart writing Alice Ravenhill to share more news of his work at St. George's, including having sent off a booklet of about 35 stories written and illustrated by his students to an American publisher and having prepared an "Indian School Primer with all Indian illustrations" that is being held by his superiors due to lack of funds and interest, it being during WWII. He also mentions several aspects of different stories involving the Animal People and Mr. Coyote, as well as how most of the other teachers and administrators at St. George's are not supportive of his art-based education initiatives.


Noel Stewart


Royal BC Museum, BC Archives (F/I/R19)


Dec.21, 1940


St. George’s Ind. School
Lytton, B.C.

I’ll see if I might attempt to revise some drama here in January. Of course I’m only a pivot in a wheel here. Res. Schools are not like the Day Schools.

Dear Miss Ravenhill: -

I thank you for your prompt reply to my letter, and I must say how sorry I am my letter went off to you minus postage. It was the truck driver’s fault here. He was told to place a stamp on it in town, but in his rush forgot to do so. However, I enclose the stamps to you now. Also, I have a few copies of our short newspaper articles. I am enclosing these to you to read but they are my only copies so will you kindly return them [both?[ later. I sent another story [page break] off to the Province. If it comes out later, I’ll try and send you a copy. This article will appeal more to coast folks. It appears that in the time of the flood Mr. Coyote who took refuge on the top of the mountain at Lytton, B.C. was told by the Father of mysteries that the Ruler of the Sea was calling to see him – this was Mr. See-see-uk. He was to row up to Lytton to meet Mr. Coyote – He died of course, and our story gives the details. So I’ll send you a copy if it comes out. The boys and I prepared a booklet of about 35 stories on the Animal People this Fall. One picture accompanied each story. The drawings were beautiful. At the advice [page break] of the Public Library we sent them to an American Pub. Co. and to date they are still considering them, but we hope for the best. I am now preparing another booklet on the friendly associations of the Animal People with the sea people. It is really more mythological than ever. One year ago I wrote an Indian School Primer with all Indian Illustrations. It was exactly what is required in the Indian Schools. I studied the needs the Indian Children of 10 years, but [Dept’s] have asked me to hold it till the war is over, since the Indian Dep’t in Ottawa won’t [page break] take on any new debt at present time. Capt Barry holds this primer at present. I believe several parts of it he does not agree with. In a few days my pupils will send to you a little wooden picture for your wall. It is the picture of Mr. Coyote taking his Sunday Service. Please note how heartily the Coyotes are singing. The choice of 8 golden birds – came from heaven to each meeting. These birds were guest singers. They were taught to sing in Heavens and they taught the Animal People on earth. After each service they returned to Heaven. I got to Vancouver Dec.30th for 1 weeks vacation. I think your [sic] wonderful at your age taking such a keen interest in life. Yes, we will all look forward to your booklets when they appear. I agree with you—a handbook for each reserve would be better than a general one. It would keep each reserve distinct. Many thanks again. I enclose (.25 cents) for the Inkameep pamphlet. I write to Mr. Walsh at times but have not met him yet. You won’t forget our clippings (to be sent back after read, please.)

Very sincerely,
Noel Stewart

PS. This is a big school. Few are interested in my work. However I’m in the animal world with my Sr. Boy pupils. Xmas Greetings again!




Noel Stewart, “Noel Stewart to Alice Ravenhill (Dec.21, 1940),” The Story is More than Itself, accessed September 23, 2018,