Christine Dalgleish / Prince George Citizen – Jun 21, 2021 / 9:48 am | Story: 337626
Picture: Glacier Media
From a gun-wielding house invader to an Indigenous artist showcasing a mural sequence depicting clans from Prince George to Haida Gwaii, Dylon McLemore has made the transfer towards therapeutic not solely himself however his relationship together with his neighborhood.
McLemore, 24, has been incarcerated on the Prince George Regional Correctional Centre since Could 2020. His sentencing is scheduled for September 25, at which period he’s hoping to be launched.
Going into the correctional facility, McLemore was a crime-involved gang member. Popping out of it, he’s decided to be an upstanding member of his neighborhood who now proudly carries his Lheidli T’enneh First Nation heritage with him.
Throughout the partitions of PGRCC is a first-of-its-kind program referred to as the Indigenous Cultural Religious Help that provides individuals in custody the chance to discover their heritage to allow them to discover the connection to their neighborhood or reestablish a connection that has been damaged.
McLemore misplaced his household connection when he was embedded in gang life and was capable of reconnect with relations throughout his keep at PGRCC.
“I don’t know the place I bought my expertise,” McLemore stated. “My grandma has instructed me quite a few instances she doesn’t know the place I bought it.”
He remembers drawing on a regular basis when he was little after which when he was 14 he began his profession as a tattoo artist and has been doing that professionally ever since.
“I used to be making an attempt to do one thing profitable in right here and it was the Indigenous program that bought me began,” McLemore stated. “It gave me the chance to launch my artwork in a constructive manner. They requested me if I might do that mural challenge and it bloomed and sky rocketed from there.”
The mural challenge depicts 13 clans from Prince George to Haida Gwaii.
“I designed all of them myself,” McLemore stated. “They’re on show all all through the hallways – all the way in which down from one finish of the jail to the opposite. They have been all evenly spaced out in between the home windows so it’s the right challenge and so they all match completely within the area. It’s so necessary to me that the neighborhood can see the work I’ve executed at PGRCC. I wished to honour the individuals, not solely the Lheidli T’enneh however all of the individuals from right here to Haida Gwaii.”
His closest connection was to the picture he created for the Killerwhale Clan, the Gispwudwada or Gisbutwada which is within the language of the Tsimshian nation of British Columbia and southeast Alaska. It’s thought-about similar to the Gisgahaast (Gisk’aast) clan in British Columbia’s Gitxsan nation and the Gis?’ahaast/Gis?’aast Tribe of the Nisga’a.
“The one that basically stands out for me is the whale,” McLemore stated. “It represents me – so it’s going via the ocean and that’s like my time of being in jail after which I put 4 eggs within the centre of it representing my household. It’s about my little household and so they’re those that information me via the storm at sea at this second and they’re at all times with me.”
McLemore stated he by no means felt linked to his tradition earlier than so when one of many correctional supervisors taught him about his heritage all of it got here collectively.
“There’s a pack of supervisors that helped me and supported me,” McLemore stated. “It was actually therapeutic for me to know what this was all about and the artwork work simply flowed.”