A member of the Ts’aahl – Eagle Clan of the Haida Nation, Jaalen was born in Masset, Haida Gwaii in 1980. He grew up in an old boat shed, and at 16 moved from the islands for schooling. He received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Victoria in 2003. He then returned home to Haida Gwaii with his wife Amanda where they now live with their two young daughters.
Jaalen has always been surrounded by Haida Art. At 13, he started studying different Haida works and began learning the intricacies of design. Jaalen has apprenticed under Guujaaw and Jim Hart and has received inspiration and guidance from many other artists who willingly shared their knowledge. His apprenticeships have included working on several totem poles, the smithing of Copper Shields, and the building of two canoes (18′ and 35′).
Other artistic accomplishments include participation in several art shows including the 2006 exhibition of Haida Art, “Raven Traveling”, at the Vancouver Art Gallery. He has also co-written and produced “Sinxii Ganguu”, a Haida theatrical production of a traditional story. Jaalen is now working in two-dimensional design, argillite, copper, and wood. His work is inspired by the old Haida stories and the daily living of his culture. The preservation of Haida language is very important to him. He and his family are dedicated to learning their language.