Darryll Dawson Jr.

Kwakwak’wakw (Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw)

Darryll Dawson Jr. is a proud member of the Musgamakw Dzawada’nuxw of Kingcome Inlet. He grew up in the cultural community in Kingcome and surrounding areas.

Darryll’s love for his culture began as a young boy growing up Kingcome. His grandparents took him to numerous potlatches and feasts in Kingcome as well as with other tribes within the Kwakwaka'wakw Nation. Being so involved in his cultural traditions inspired him to eventually become an artist. It is because of these that Darryll learned to dance and sing at an early age.

When Darryll moved to Victoria for high school in 1993, native art teacher Victor Newman taught his first Native Art class. From there he learned how to draw basic shapes, designs and painting techniques. By the time he was 17 he started to develop his style.

In 2000 he was asked by the Nanwakola Cultural Society to design and paint a lamilas (ceremonial designed screen) for the Bighouse opening in Kingcome. He also painted the house posts carved by Master carver Beau Dick , and helped paint the design by Marianne Nicolson on the front of the Bighouse. As Darryll grew older he wanted to pass on his cultural knowledge to the next generation of children in Kingcome. He was able to accomplish this by becoming a substitute teacher for the Cultural program at the Liluwagila school in Kingcome from 2000 to 2006. He taught singing, dancing, history, culture, and art to children from age 5 to 14.

When Darryll lived in Victoria in 2010 he began to apprentice under the guidance of Master carver Rande Cook. After a year carving with Rande, Darryll worked for Master carver John Livingston as well as learning from John. His inspirations are his late dad Darryll Dawson Sr., his uncle Peter Dawson, William Wasden Jr., Beau Dick, Wayne Alfred, John Livingston, Rande Cook, Frances Dick and Marianne Nicolson.

In 2013 Darryll moved back home to Kingcome to be the cultural teacher at the Lilawagila School. With all of the cultural experience Darryll has been involved with throughout his life, he now works as a cultural co-ordinator in Kingcome. Bringing the community together to learn cultural practices, traditions, and ceremonies.