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THOMAS JONES

Coast Salish/Kwakwaka’wakw artist Thomas Jones was born on January 25, 1981 to Sharon Jones of Snuneymuxw (Nanaimo) and Tom Isaac of Fort Rupert. Raised in Nanaimo, Jones spent much of his time learning about his culture from his grandparents and family, later learning to carve under noted carver and artist Alfred Robertson of Gwa’yi (Kingcome Inlet).

 

Jones is a proficient wood carver and artist, working mainly in yellow and red cedar. As a child, Jones learned hul’qumi’num’, which is a language group spoken by a coalition of six Coast Salish tribes. As his grandparents were fluent speakers, Jones also became fluent and in 2008, began speaking it full time again. 

 

Jones is currently enrolled in the Linguistics program at SFU and is specializing in the hul’qumi’num’ language. As an active participant in his traditional culture, Jones is a public speaker for his people at important ceremonies including naming ceremonies, potlatches, memorials and funerals.

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