Fonds accession 2011.118 - British Columbia Indian Arts Society fonds

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British Columbia Indian Arts Society fonds

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CA BCA accession 2011.118

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  • 1942-1983, predominant 1962-1971 (Creation)
    British Columbia Indian Arts Society

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Physical description

1.2 m of textual records

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Biographical history

The British Columbia Indian Arts and Welfare Society was formally established in 1951 by Alice Ravenhill. The primary objectives of the society were to promote the welfare, creative talent, and true place in the social organization of the country of the Indian people, with particular attention to the needs of young native people. Previous to this, Ravenhill was instrumental in establishing the Society for the Furtherance of B.C. Indian Arts and Craft, in 1940, which was formally constituted in 1942. During the late 1940s, the society began to use informally the name, B.C. Indian Arts and Welfare Society. In 1973, the Society again changed its name to the British Columbia Indian Arts Society.

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Biographical history

The British Columbia Indian Arts and Welfare Society's aim was to promote interest in and assist in marketing traditional native arts.

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Administrative history

The Society for the Furtherance of BC Indian Arts and Crafts was initially formed in 1940 as a committee at the suggestion of Anthony Walsh, of the Inkameep Indian School, B.C. The society was founded by Alice Ravenhill. Its objectives were primarily ‘to promote the revival of the latent gifts of art, drama, dance and song, as well as certain handicrafts, among the Indians of this Province.’ The committee became a society in 1941 with objectives ‘to compile a schedule and pictorial record of authentic specimens of totem poles, pictographs, petroglyphs and other tribal arts and crafts; to compile a bibliography on B.C. Arts and Crafts; to collect new material in the form of drawings, photographs or written records of B.C. Indian Arts and Crafts; to encourage commercial use of these and all other authentic B.C. Indian designs; to gather records of B.C. Native Music; to compile a bibliography of B.C. Native Mythology and Drama; to encourage Pupils of Indian Schools and Tribal Experts in the revival of their latent gifts of Arts, Crafts and Drama, with a view to improve their economic position, to restore their self respect, and to induce more sympathetic relations between them and their fellow Canadians; and to publish leaflets, books and articles in harmony with the work of the Society.’ The first members of the committee were Major Bullock-Webster, Douglas Flintoff, A.E. Pickford, Madame Sanderson Mongin, Miss Cave-Brown-Cave, Alma Russell, Betty Newton, and Alice Ravenhill as secretary. Projects completed were the publication of The Tale of the Nativity, a selection of stories told to Anthony Walsh by his students that includes artwork by Sis-hu-lk (Francis Baptiste); charts of examples of various tribal art forms; exhibitions; and letters and meetings with members of government.
In 1951, the society incorporated and changed its name to the British Columbia Indian Arts and Welfare Society.

Custodial history

The fonds was transferred from its prior custodian, the University of Victoria Archives, to the British Columbia Archives (Royal BC Museum) on March 20, 2011.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of the following series: Briefs relating to Indian arts and welfare, 1942-1958; Correspondence relating to general subjects, arts and crafts, B.C. and Canadian government departments, and native organizations, 1961-1972; Financial records, 1948-83; Governance records, including constitution, general, executive and committee minutes and reports, 1951-1981; Publications, 1947-1981; Visitors' Book, 1950-1983; Newspaper clipping scrapbooks, 1946-1971; and the Ravenhill Copper plaque, donated by Ravenhill in 1952, and awarded three times between 1956-1959.

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File list available.

Associated materials

Related records are the British Columbia Indian Arts and Welfare Society fonds : 1940-1954 (MS-2720), the Society for the Furtherance of British Columbia Indian Arts and Crafts fonds (MS-1116) and the Alice Ravenhill fonds (F/I/R19).

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Alpha-numeric designations

Formerly University of Victoria Archives AR018

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Formerly BCAUL control number: UVICARCH-124

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Revised by BCANS Coordinator, May 3 and 27, 2011.

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