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Etalew̓txʷ | ÁTOL ÁUTW̱ | Centre of respect for the rights of one another and all beings

Qwul'thilum, Dylan Thomas

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Etalew̓txʷ | ÁTOL,ÁUTW̱ by Qwul'thilum, Dylan Thomas

In this design, Qwul’thilum, Dylan Thomas has represented the concept of Etalew̓txʷ | ÁTOL,ÁUTW̱ with the image of salmon (water), eagle (air), human (land) and an ancestor moon (spirit world). This design is intended to respect and honour all beings that inhabit the world.

Laws & philosophies

Qwul'thilum’s design decisions were informed by the following Sk̓ʷeʔs | TŦE SKÁLs I, TŦE Ś,X̱ENAṈs | the Laws and Philosophies of the OVPI:

Héʔəkʷ ʔə cə čəléŋən ɫtə  |  HÁEQ ȽTE OL TŦE ĆELÁEN ȽTE  |  Remember our ancestors/birthright
The ancestor moon is included to remember and honour our ancestors.

Nəc̓əmaat kʷəns čeʔi  |  ĆȺNEUEL OL  |  Work together
The design depicts three beings working together to form a single cohesive design.

Nəw̓es šxʷ cən ʔay̓ šqʷeləqʷən  |  ÁMEḴT TŦEN ÍY, ŚḰÁLEȻEN  |  Bring in your good heart and mind
By including sacred imagery such as the eagle, salmon, and ancestor moon, the design is intended to invoke a good heart and mind in all those who witness it.

Leʔt šxʷ helə ʔə cə mak̓ʷ sčeʔi səʔ  |  S,HOL E MEQ EN ENÁ SE SĆȺ  |  Be prepared for the work to come
The salmon, as the primary food source of the Coast Salish People, represents the need to work for sustenance, and the eagle, as a symbol of spiritual power, represents the need to work for cultural and spiritual growth. Together they are meant to inspire a readiness to work.


Born in Victoria, in 1986,  Dylan Thomas (Qwul’thilum) is a Coast Salish artist and member of the Lyackson First Nation (Valdes Island), through his grandfather, Clifford Thomas. He also has Songhees heritage through his great grandmother, Mary Moody (of the Albany family), Squamish heritage though his great grandfather, George Moody, and Snuneymuxw heritage through his grandmother, Doris Josephson (from the Wyse family).

Although Dylan grew up in the urban setting of Victoria, he was introduced to Coast Salish art at a young age because his family continues to participate in their culture and tradition. Dylan’s early experiences with Salish art ignited a lifelong passion for the art form – and, eventually, led him to seek guidance from established artists.

Dylan received training in jewelry techniques from the late Seletze (Delmar Johnnie) and studied under Rande Cook in all mediums of Northwest Coast art. Dylan’s artwork has been published in The Journal of Mathematics and the Arts (Taylor and Francis), and in Contemporary Art on the Northwest Coast by Karen & Ralph Norris. In 2013, Dylan was featured – alongside Rande Cook, lessLIE, and Francis Dick – in the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s Urban Thunderbirds/Ravens in a Material World art show, and in 2016, Dylan held his first solo exhibit, titled Sacred Geometry, at Alcheringa Gallery in Victoria.

Along with Rande and Delmar, Dylan’s art has been influenced by the late Art Thompson, Susan Point and Robert Davidson. Dylan has also extensively studied other forms of traditional geometric art, and his work has been deeply influenced by Vajrayana Buddhist mandalas, Celtic knots, Islamic tessellations, and many other ancient geometric art traditions.


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