In 1962, Michael Epp was born in Matsqui, British Columbia. Growing up in the village of Metlakatla, Alaska, Michael is of the Tsimshian Nation. He belongs to the Gitlaan tribe, Raven clan, and comes from the house of Xspii Hanna.
Being born into a long line of carvers, young Michael quickly became interested in the art. He was influenced by his grandfather, George Ryan of the Gitwigiot tribe, who taught him how to fashion traditional tools, spoons, and halibut hooks.
In 1982, Michael attended a carving class held in Sardis, BC at Coqualeetza, instructed by Francis Horne. Michael spent the following four years working with Francis, perfecting his skill in carving masks, bowls, and crest poles. Since then, Michael found his own specialty in carving hardwoods.
On June 21st, 2009, Michael carved a 21-foot community pole. No other totem had been raised in Metlaktla for the past 160 years, making this a wonderful honour.
Michael’s strong traditional values are responsible for his eagerness to study the works of old masters in museums and learn stories of the Tsimshian people from elders. Michael’s passions include teaching Tsimshian sculpture and preserving the Tsimshian culture.