Dallas Ron Austin (1953 – )
Ron was born in the Wet’suwet’en village of Moricetown in 1953. He is a member of the Wit’suwit’en Nation of the Bulkley River Drainage. He is a holder of two chief names, Sggileygit and Dzii Ggot, of the Small Frog Clan, The House of Many Eyes.
Ron was influenced as a small child by his brother, who liked drawing wildlife and birds. In elementary school, a Nun by the name of Sister Ruth Ann further inspired him with beautiful portrait and scenery drawings and paintings.
In his high school years, he became very adept at life drawing and painting. His art teacher recognized his natural ability and assumed that Ron had knowledge of the Northwest Coast Native art; because of this he assigned Ron to design banners with native motifs, for the high school graduation, to decorate the high school stadium. At this time Ron did not know the first thing about Native Art. He had to go to the library to avoid copying designs in a book written by Bill Holms.
To learn more about his genuine cultural traditions, after graduation, Ron returned home to Hazelton B.C. where he enrolled in the K’san School of Northwest Coast Indian Art, in 1974.
In 1978, Ron went to Fraser Valley College to study art for four more years, where he received a diploma.
Ron has carved large totems for Italy, Japan and the United States. Two of the latest large totems were carved for local BC communities: Moricetown and Smithers; as well as Terrace’s Northwest Community College. Five large round murals, depicting the five clans of the Wit’wuwit’en Nation, were also carved for the community of Smithers B.C. (Boville Square).
Celebrities that are in possession of Ron’s artwork: Rue McLanahan (Golden Girls), Joni Mitchell (Singer), Gene Autrey (Actor and owner of Cowboys).