George Matilpi is a member of the Kwakiutl Nation, of the Pacific Northwest Coast peoples. George was born in 1953 in the tiny fishing village of Alert Bay, off the east coast of Vancouver Island. George takes the mythological Thunderbird as his family crest. George began to carve at the age of fourteen, coming from a family that has been producing prominent artists for many generations. George apprenticed with his half brother, Lloyd Wadhams, and cousin Ned Matilpi. George is a full-time carver who prefers to work in cedar, the wood so important to the Pacific Northwest Coast Natives.