Thomas Forsyth McIlwraith was a young Canadian anthropologist who spent eleven months with the Nuxalk First Nation at Bella Coola between 1922 and 1924. His two-volume enthnographic study called The Bella Coola Indians has been touted as the finest work of its kind about a Northwest Coast First Nation. It was selected as one of the one hundred most influential books published by University of Toronto Press in its 100-year history. McIlwraith was one of the few non-Indians who was permitted to participate in winter ceremonials and the potlatches that were held at the time. His letters have been collected in a volume edited by John Barker and Douglas Cole.

[See John Barker entry]

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
The Bella Coola Indians, Volumes 1 and 2


The Bella Coola Indians. 2 Volumes (University of Toronto Press, 1948; 1992)

Bella Coola (British Columbia Heritage Series, Our Native People, ser. 1, Vol. 10. Victoria: A. Sutton, 1953)

[BCBW 2003] "Anthropology" "First Nations"