Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwak̕wala Speaking People) artist Don Alfred was born in 1956. He was raised in Alert Bay, British Columbia. He is a member of the ‘Namgis (Alert Bay) First Nation and started carving in 1995; producing small wooden plaques, finely detailed and exquisitely painted. Since then he has moved on to larger pieces such as carved coffee tables with abalone inlay and masks. Don’s early influences include Beau Dick, Vincent Shaughnessy, Don Svanvik and Bruce Alfred, which is evident from his style of carving. His work is sold at the U’mista Cultural Centre and by private commission.
Don is very aware of his responsibilities to his culture and his art. His grandfather was the late Chief K̕odi Udzistalis, Alvin Alfred. His grandmother was the inspiring Mrs. Ethel Alfred who lived to the age of 96 and was still a very strong and active cultural advisor and teacher. Don’s father Christopher Alfred is the Hereditary Chief of the Sisant̕ła’yi (Came from the Sun) Clan of the ‘Namgis.