James’s father Jim Yelton is from the Squamish Nation and his mother from the Sechelt Nation of the Sunshine Coast. James Yelton learned his carving experiences from his father who has been carving his entire life. Yelton has also apprenticed with Gerald Tibault a Haida carver who has taught James some of the techniques and stylings of the Haida Nation.
James is an emerging artist who has spent many years assisting his father with his carving business. But is now making his own way as an artist. He carries on the traditions of his people by carving art influenced by the natural environment surrounding him. He incorporates indigenous animals in his work which have specific meanings and symbolisms within the Squamish Nation culture.