Andy Everson was born in Comox, BC in 1972 and named Nagedzi after his grandfather, the late Chief Andy Frank. Influenced heavily by his grandmother, he has always been driven to uphold the traditions of both the K’omoks and Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations. In this regard, Andy has pursued avenues where he can sing traditional songs and perform ceremonial dances at potlatches and in a number of different dance groups, most notably the Le-La-La Dancers, the Gwa’wina Dancers and the K’umugwe Dancers.
Pursuing other areas of traditional culture has also led Andy to complete a Master’s degree in anthropology. Because the Comox First Nation lies on the border between the larger Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw realms, his thesis focused on notions and expressions of contemporary Comox identity. His work in anthropology provided him with a background in linguistics which subsequently inspired him to create a company, Copper Canoe, Inc, that specialises in the creation of Aboriginal language CD-ROMs.
Andy feels that his artwork stands on par with these other accomplishments. Although he began drawing Northwest Coast art at an early age, Andy’s first serious attempt wasn’t until 1990 when he started designing and painting chilkat-style blankets for use in potlatch dancing. From these early self-taught lessons, he has tried to follow in the footsteps of his Kwakiutl relatives in creating bold and unique representations that remain rooted in the age-old traditions of his ancestors. The ability to create and print most of his own work has allowed Andy to explore and express his ancestral artwork in a number of contemporary ways. Andy was chosen to design a series of gold and silver coins for the Royal Canadian Mint. The first was released September 2014.