Dempsey Aron Tony Cook is Namgis from the Kwakwaka'wakw Nation.
He was born in 1981 and raised in Alert Bay BC within a powerfully traditional family. Dempsey's father was amongst the new generation in the 1970s that begin revitalizing Kwakwaka'wakw traditions by hosting potlatches, going through a tribal marriage, & giving feasts to his people. Dempsey's mother's father, the late Arthur Dick Sr, is renowned for giving precious Oolichan oil away in ceremony—the highest commodity amongst the Kwakwaka'wakw.
Dempsey learned the basics of traditional song and dance in his early schooling. His family initiated him into the prestigious Hamatsa Society during his father's 3 rd potlatch in 2001.
Through his high school years, Dempsey fished commercially at his father's side during the summer months. For a time he skippered a seine fisher on the BC coast before returning to work with his father where he has remained to this day.
Dempsey is the younger brother of Jeweller/native artist, Chris Cook Ill. Recently he began working with his older brother learning the art and craft of jewelry metalworking. He intends to learn and follow in his brother's footsteps making new and innovative styles of native art that capture the beautiful essence of his traditional ancestry.