Alice Ravenhill to Noel Stewart (Dec.18, 1940)


Alice Ravenhill to Noel Stewart (Dec.18, 1940)


Art education; tribal-specific residential school materials


Alice Ravenhill describes to Noel Stewart her proposed project of preparing tribe-specific Charts for use in Residential schools, which would show students "the line of former achievements by their own Tribes." She also makes reference to a handbook of 160 illustrations that she is attempting to get published. She mentions "The Tale of Nativity" produced by students in Anthony Walsh's classroom at Inkameep Day School and expresses interest in publishing "a collection of tribal legends," urging Stewart to send her further details of his art-based educational practices at St. George's.


Alice Ravenhill


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


Dec.18, 1940


Dec.18th 1940

Noel Stewart,

Thank you warmly for your interesting letter, which also brings encouragement to me. Your experience in these various schools makes me wish you were nearer Victoria, so that I could get all you could give from your experience. Did I tell you I am preparing a series of 20 Charts for use in the Indian schools of this Province to bring before the children specimens of the fine accomplishments of their forfathers [sic] and to stimulate their desire to try their own power to emulate them in one or another of the wide range they covered. I wanted to prepare portfolios for each school showing the line of former achievements by their own Tribes, and still think it the better method, but Captain Barry prefers this other way, and the commission came to me direct from Ottawa. I have also to write a Handbook with many details of origin, significance, legendary associations, etc of each of the 160 illustrations; a huge work; it will not be ready till the end of February. I have tried in vain to get the Macmillan, the Oxford University Press or any publisher to issue a collection of the agenda of the Province I selected from their own old representations of the characters concerned. I am sure there would be a ready sale. No one in Victoria is the least interested; there is no anthropologist at the Museum and no authority in the Archives Department. For the first time I have been asked to lecture at the Summer School next July on Indian Arts and Crafts, but, alas, I am almost 82, and have to refuse what I have longed to do for twelve years.

Please make time to send me the dates of the Vancouver papers to [page break] you refer as having published the legends and illustrations. I never see a Vancouver paper. You mention two stories in the “Sun” and more in the “Province”. Can you tell me how to address the Winnipeg “Free Press” and if you will further assist by adding the price and postage cost of each paper I can send the necessary prepayments at a considerable saving to myself. Have you seen “The Tale of the Nativity” published by my Committee, as told by the children of the Inkameep School. There are very few of the 1000 copies printed left; if you would like a copy and can make up 25 cents, you shall have one of the few remaining. Frankly, so I have had to be our Committee’s banker until the sale of this “Tale” and have had to send out complimentary and specimen copies I have to sound mercenary. I would risk enclosing the attractive booklet, but you may have had a copy.

Any further details you can send me will be a great help; I dream of issuing for next Christmas a collection of tribal legends, for instance, to arouse yet more public realisation of what our Indian children can offer. Forgive more now; but accept my warm appreciation of your long letter and my delight at our mutual interest. With all kindly greetings and good wishes,

yours sincerely,
[Alice Ravenhill]




Alice Ravenhill, “Alice Ravenhill to Noel Stewart (Dec.18, 1940),” The Story is More than Itself, accessed September 23, 2018,