Thomas Sewid is as a Kwakwaka’wakw/Cree First Nation who was born in Alert Bay off northeastern Vancouver Island in 1965. He became interested in his people’s art as a boy watching the great carvers that are no longer with us creating. His father took him to the carving sheds to work and Tom would play or sleep in the cedar chips upon the floors. These historic carvers such as Chief James Aul Sewid his grandfather, Gus Matilpi, Benjamin (Blackie) Dick, Andrew (Beanie) Beans instilled his desire to learn the art trade. Thirty years ago he sought guidance from Joe Wilson, Jerry Smith, Sandy Jacobson and to this day, learning from other well-known Kwakwaka’wakw artists.
Having been the Chairman of Aboriginal Tourism British Columbia and other First Nations organizations for decades, Thomas is well trained in marketing. As Chairman of Aboriginal Tourism British Columbia he and the organization he led helped incorporate the indigenous cultural component into the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. He uses what he learned in marketing as his approach in his creations that carry the elements of simplistic traditionalism created on unique mediums or subjects. He’s seen how his creations garner greater interest for west coast native art buyers and collectors.
The bowls he paints upon were made by the late master lathe turner Bill Luce. Please Google (Bill Luce lathe turner) to learn how all his bowls are collectors pieces. Thomas has over 1200 of his bowls with permission to paint his Kwakwaka’wakw designs upon. Not only are his bowls traditional and beautiful – they are great collectors’ pieces that one day shall be far more valuable.
Some may know Thomas Sewid from his television series Aboriginal Adventures or the many appearances he makes on Sasquatch/Bigfoot television shows, movies, podcasts and conferences sharing the stories and beliefs of Dzoonakwa. This being the Sasquatch to the Kwakwaka’wakw People and Thomas specializes in Dzoonakwa design.