Hilary with First Nations youth.

Hilary Stewart Bursary



The Hilary Stewart Bursary was donated by Hilary Stewart, a friend of the Lodge, who left her career at BCTV to pursue studies in First Nations on the Northwest Coast. Stewart received her education in the United Kingdom of which four years were spent at St Martin’s School of Art. She was able to use those skills when she moved to British Columbia in 1951 where she discovered the wonder and wilderness of the Canadian landscape. Stewart wrote her first book as she volunteered for the Archeology Society of B.C. It was there that her illustrations of First Nations artifacts and her enthusiasm caught the attention of Dr Charles Borden, the Archeological site director. Dr Borden encouraged Stewart to publish her illustrations along with descriptions of their how the artifacts were made and their use. This started her career of illustration and writing on First Nations in B.C. In her 35-year career Hilary Stewart wrote 11 books, her most notable being Cedar (1984). Cedar is Hilary’s most popular publication which illustrated and summarized the many uses as well as the importance of the the cedar tree for the First Nations on the Northwest Coast.


Hilary Stewart was first introduced to Strathcona Park Lodge in the early 1970s as part of the West Coast Survival course with Jim Boulding. Jim found Hilary to be delightful and she quickly became a part of the lodge family. Hilary continued to visit the lodge for many years to provide talks and demonstrations on her research with COLT students and lodge staff. Hilary Stewart’s influence on the lodge and was a very special member of our family. We are honoured for the opportunity to further her passion and learning.


“Hilary Stewart was one of those unique talents who was equally distinguished as a writer and a graphic artist,” said her publisher, Howard White. “Her keen study of aboriginal cultures of the BC coast led her to make a major contribution to popular understanding.”


The Hilary Stewart bursary is for a potential COLT student who identifies as First Nations. Although a First Nations candidate is preferred, applicants who have a strong interest in First Nations studies should also apply. Applicants must be Canadian residents. You may express interest on the COLT application and we will follow up with you.