HAWTHORN, Harry (H.B.)

Author Tags: First Nations

Harry Hawthorn became the father of modern anthropology in British Columbia.

Harry B. Hawthorn was born in Wellington, New Zealand on October 15, 1910. He went to study anthropology at the University of Hawaii in 1938 and gained his Ph.D from Yale University in 1941. There he met Audrey Engel who he later married. The word Anthropology was added to the title of UBC's Department of Economics, Political Science and Sociology when Hawthorn was appointed to teach at UBC in 1947. In 1948 he arranged the first major conference on aboriginal arts and crafts in British Columbia, incorporating B.C. Indians as delegates and speakers. In 1949, Hawthorn undertook a study of the Doukhobors for the provincial government that was released in 1955--but unfortunately the Social Credit administration of W.A.C. Bennett did not follow its recommendations. As well, in 1954, the federal Department of Citizenship and Immigration commissioned an extensive report on B.C. Indians. The following year, when it was completed, Hawthorn also became head of UBC's new Anthropology, Sociology and Criminology department, a position he maintained until 1968.

Audrey Hawthorn wrote People of the Potlatch (Vancouver Art Gallery, 1956) and the couple helped establish the first UBC Museum in 1959, initially located in the basement of the Main Library. He was its first director; she was the first curator. In the 1960s, Harry Hawthorn undertook The Survey of Contemporary Indians of Canada that proved influential in terms of both governmental policies and anthropology. She encouraged the museum's publication of Art of the Kwakiutl Indians and Other Northwest Coastal Tribes (UBC, 1967), an illustrated catalogue of the museum's holdings, and she later published Kwakiutl Art (Douglas & McIntyre, 1988). Audrey Hawthorn played a large role in choosing Arthur Erickson as the architect for the new UBC Anthropology Museum that opened in 1976, the year Harry Hawthorn retired from being a UBC faculty member. Both Hawthorns received the Order of Canada.


Report of the Doukhobor Research Committee (Vancouver: University of British Columbia, 1952)

The Doukhobors of British Columbia (University of British Columbia, 1955). Editor.

The Indians of British Columbia (University of Toronto Press, 1958). With C.S. Belshaw, S.M. Jamieson.

A Survey of the Contemporary Indians of Canada (Indian Affairs Branch, 1966, 1967). Editor.

[Alan Twigg / BCBW 2003] "First Nations" "Douhobors"

Harry Hawthorn Foundation Collection

[Text from Harry Hawthorn Foundation Collection]: "The Library of the University of British Columbia has an excellent collection of books on angling and fly-fishing, known as the Harry Hawthorn Collection. At present it totals more than 1800 books, including many rare and valuable items. This Collection came about as the result of a fishing holiday in 1953 by eight UBC professors and Roderick Haig-Brown at Upper Campbell Lake. At the end of the holiday, the group, including the University President, Dr Norman MacKenzie, decided to start a Foundation at UBC with $13.50 accumulated from various bets and fines for alleged illegal or non-ethical fishing methods. At subsequent annual meetings (i.e. fishing trips) funds raised by fines and donations by members would be used to purchase books for the UBC Library on angling and game fish. The Foundation was officially approved by the Board of Governors and, light heartedly, named The Harry Hawthorn Foundation for the Inculcation and Propagation of the Principles and Ethics of Fly-Fishing. Professor Harry Hawthorn was...an expert fly-fisherman and member of the group."