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"