Walter Davidson was born in Masset, British Columbia, the largest town on Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands). Through his mother’s lineage, he is a descendant of the Eagle Clan, taking the Frog as his secondary crest figure, a right also inherited from his mother. He is the nephew of renowned Haida artists Reg and Robert Davidson, and a descendant of the Edenshaw family.
Walter began carving in 1999, and has been primarily self-taught since that time. In 1999 he began a three-month mentorship with Dwayne Simeon, a master carver who, since 1974, has mentored many artists of the new generation. During his time with Simeon, Walter began to practice the art of jewelry design and engraving.
Walter is inspired by the artists Bill Reid, Fred Davis, and Charles Edenshaw, along with his uncles Reg and Robert Davidson. His grandfather, Alfred Davidson, was a master canoe maker and boat builder. Along with other master canoe makers of the time, Alfred was commissioned to carve a war canoe for the 1904 Seattle World’s Fair, which was later purchased by the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Alfred’s work continues to be a significant inspiration to Walter as he continues to build upon the ancient art forms of his people, creating a distinctive style all his own.
In 2010, Walter was given the distinction of being a featured artist at the 2010 Olympic Aboriginal Pavillion in Vancouver, exhibiting his jewelry at the Aboriginal Artisan Village and Business Showcase.