Dawn Oman was born in Yellowknife, North West Territories, of Yellowknives Dene and Welsh descent. Directly descended from Chief Snuff, who signed Treaty 8 with the Canadian Government, she began to draw as a means of silently amusing herself and staying out of her foster families' way. Since then, Dawn has exhibited across North America, opened her own Studio Gallery, and won awards and important commissions for her artwork. The Royal Canadian Mint Limited Edition 50 Cent Collectors coin in the 2003 Festival Series commemorating the Great Northern Arts Festival features Dawn's "Rising Star."
Dawn's main theme is winter; her snowy bright images capture the essence of the North in the dark time, cold, but full of colour. Her use of swirling colours representing the northern lights is a recognizable and recurrent theme throughout her works, as is her bold use of colour and brilliant combinations. What began as a way to make herself quietly invisible has brought an exuberant and joyful presence to the contemporary Canadian arts scene.