Coast Salish Designwww.ArtPal.com/Kwokedsted
I am William Toby Jefferson. I am of Coast Salish, Dutch, Irish and Scottish ancestry. I am a member of the Lummi Nation near Bellingham, Washington. I am also known as Latsean Quiachtun, my Coast Salish names. I am descendent of a long line of Heyawek (chiefs) including Sealth (Chief Seattle) of Duwamish and Suquamish, Stateethlum of S'kallam, Snanaimoux (Chief Nanaimo) of Vancouver Island, Chehanek of Semiahmoo and my own namesake Latsean of T'lapi (Lummi or Th'laktemish). Latsean was my great great great grandfather the great great great grandson of Squilox. Squilox was known as my people's greatest and most feared warrior. His sacrifice and quest for a strength of spirit would eventually empower the Th'laktemish to resist and defeat the once hated enemy tribes of Northern British Columbia, Canada.
However, it was our mothers and grandmothers who were the true leaders and strengths of our people. It was they who handed down our inheritance, ceremonies, teachings and traditions. It is my aunts, mother and grandmothers I ask for guidance and prayers when I am in need. They are the reason my people survived genocide and now thrive along the coast of the Salish Sea.
I am a carver and Coast Salish Design painter of 19 years. I learned to carve canoes and paddles as a boy War Canoe Racer. I went on to captain our Stahlo Canoe Club to a Bronze Medal in the 94 Common Wealth Games in Victoria, BC, Canada a 4th and 8th place at the 92 and 94 World Outrigger Sprint Championships in Sacramento, California and Apia, Western Samoa.
I am inspired by my late cousin and carver Dale James who told me as Lummi we carve what we see in the wood. That is Lummi...