Refreshed TELUS Fleet in Prince George tells the story of “Baby Yoh”
The areas within and surrounding Prince George will notice a few TELUS vehicles newly branded with meaningful artwork by local Indigenous artist, Johnny Kelto III of the Nadleh Whut'en Yinka Dene people. TELUS is proud to share the story of “Baby Yoh”, told by Ketlo through his words here and his art on TELUS vehicles. Through collaborations like this, we are fortunate to learn more about the Dene people and their strong culture and stories that connect their community to each other and to the land.
Ketlo is the fifth Indigenous artist to contribute their work to the TELUS fleet branding program which was launched in 2021. As part of our efforts to progress the path of Reconciliation, this initiative is one way we are amplifying Indigenous artists’ voices and talent.
TELUS’ commitments to Reconciliation, guided by the Indigenous Advisory Council and the four pillars we believe can drive meaningful change, are summarized in our Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan (IRAP). Learn more about the advisors, our guiding pillars, and the progress of our IRAP here.
"Baby Yoh" by Johnny Ketlo III
The Golden Eagle lives in the highest regions of the earth. His name is Yoh. The note he speaks from his beak is connected to all creation. Yoh-Ho-Ah-Hey.
Yoh exists where there is very little oxygen. Anything that comes into his domain. He eats. In the celestial Heavens where Yoh dwells are the Sun and the Moon, respectively. They represent the upper atmosphere. The Bear is an absolutely respected creature through all Indigenous culture and takes place in this painting in the Sun to reflect his respected stature.
Yoh watches over the land and the people, the salmon and the oceans, he sees everything.
The four feathers are the Indigenous flag colors of White, Red, Black and Yellow. Recognizant of the different races of the earth as “All of my relations” the human race in all their different colors. All different yet still related through earth. Connected in a hoop, in a circle that never ends. The Killer Whale, “the Great Hunter” lives in the ocean. The salmon return from the ocean to the rivers through the Earth's veins of sacred water. This further illustrates the connection of all creatures and Dene people. Water represents life and connection to the Creator, proof of Heaven. You are made of water, you can change the structure of water with vibration. Like that of your voice when you sing in prayer, or play the sacred drum. Yoh-Hey-Ah-Hey
The salmon is like the life’s blood that runs in the veins of the Earth. Feeding all of creation from the Bear, to the Killer Whale, to the Dene (the people) we say in Dakelh - Yinka Dene (the people of the Earth), of all races connected all under the Sun and the Moon. Nadleh is the place “Where the Salmon Return.” All under Yoh’s watchful eye. Yoh rarely comes down from his place in the upper realms. In the highest mountains. Where there is very little oxygen.
Johnny Ketlo III
My name is Johnny Ketlo III, “Shunultus”. I am Frogclan Dakelh. Lhtseh Yoo Frog clan. In the balhats system. This is one of four clans of the Nadleh Whut'en Yinka Dene people. Ketlo means 'wet moccasins' like walking in the river.
My artist name, Shunultus means 'strong music', was given to me by my Grandfather, my Atsian. My journey as an artist began at a young age. With the influence of my Uncle Robert “Bob” Sebastian and my Father Johnny Junior Ketlo. We grew up with Uncle Bob’s paintings all around us and I was always fascinated by the animals and shapes. That was the first place I saw the ovoid style shape and I began to notice it in all the different types of Native art from all over B.C. and I would practice drawing those shapes.
It is very relaxing and fulfilling doing art and I am honored to be able to do that and share with others, especially in the old west coast style meets modern contemporary style that I have been working on like traditional with a new modern edge.
TELUS' commitment to artistic integrity
We are committed to supporting the artistic practices of Indigenous Peoples, while being mindful of the historic role organizations have played in the misappropriation of Indigenous art and culture. We have an obligation and responsibility to ensure that TELUS’ use of Indigenous art in our digital and physical spaces is respectful of Indigenous artists. TELUS works with each artist to ensure that they retain full intellectual property and control over their work.
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