Steven Charlie is a fifth-generation of very well known carvers. He is a member of the Coast Salish First Nation from the Capilano Reservation. He credits his grandfather for being his teacher and for showing him the direction of his life's work. Steven, born and raised in Vancouver by his parents Steve Charlie and Beatrice Dick but he in particular gained from his grandfather the spirit and the mindset for the family tradition as carvers.
Dominic Charlie was a tireless carver patiently and skill fully. Each day, moreover, Dominic would have a different story about a different animal that he would relate to Steven and his siblings. Through those stories, Steven says, “grandfather taught us to be quick, to listen well, and to have a good heart and mind.”
After 30 years as a carver, Steven continues to carve 8 hours to 12 hours a day—a work ethic also acquired from his grandfather. “I also carry in my heart the gift I’ve received from my various teachers. I took a formal course under world-renowned carver Stan Greene, with whom I’ve worked for 25 years. And I make every effort to pass on that gift. I’ve worked with the Stolo longhouse program for four years. Each summer, I teach young people the techniques of carving. “I’m a carver. People make me an artist. In wood, I see beauty and the animals from my grandfather’s stories. I do not plan my carvings. They come out as I work.