Leon (The Thunderbird) McFadden was born in Victoria and is of Tsimshian decent. He recently self published two Indigenous colouring books for children, shortly after finding out he was going to be a father.
What makes the books really special is the hand-drawn illustrations and the cultural stories they share.
“Since I found out about her, it got me thinking what can I do as one person to help her learn Tsimshian culture and other cultures in a good way,” said McFadden.
After realizing there was a need for entertaining, enjoyable, cultural books aimed at kids, he took matters into his own hands — drawing, designing and writing two stories; The Raven and The Otter.
“These are the first steps of me being able to allow my daughter to grow up in a world that’s filled with less negativity and anger and stereotypes — things that I grew up with,” said McFadden.
McFadden says he has faced adversity throughout his life that resulted in him feeling hatred towards others. “It was just a force, eating me up.”
Once his daughter was born, it was like a call to action and McFadden couldn’t sit on these negative feelings any longer.
“It was OK when I had nobody, but now I have somebody that I have to do something for,” he said.
McFadden has big plans. The two books already published are part of a 13-book series that revolves around the Tsimshian horoscope that he plans to create over the course of the next few months once funding has been secured.
Along with writing and illustrating children’s books, McFadden illustrates weekly Tsimshian horoscopes and hands them out to people in the Victoria area.