Mervyn Child was born in 1955 in the village of Tsakis, or Fort Rupert, at the North end of Vancouver Island, which he still calls home. Mervyn is a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw tribe, but also has some Tlingit and Nuu Chah Nulth ancestry.
He works with his uncle, Calvin Hunt, in the Copper Maker gallery and arts group. Mervyn learned to carve from his family well-known Kwakwaka’wakw carvers, Calvin Hunt, George Hunt Jr., and Tom Hunt. Mervyn was initiated into the Nunsishalis Society at the memorial potlatch for the late Tom Hunt.
Mervyn’s artistry is primarily defined by traditional carving styles and design work. His latest works include the carved house front for the new I-Hos Gallery on Vancouver Island.
With the resurgence of canoe building in 1993, Mervin and his uncle, Calvin Hunt, carved a 32’ Northern Style canoe that represented the Kwagu’l Nation at “Quatuwas” canoe gathering in Bella Bella. This canoe, named “Maxwalaogwa”, belongs to the Maxwalaogwa Canoe Society, formed by Calvin and his wife, Marie. He was also instrumental in carving the I-Hos canoe, which represents the double headed sea serpent. The canoe was a part of the Commonwealth Games during the summer of 1994.
Mervyn is considered a master carver of Kwakwaka’wakw art. He is well known for his masks, totem poles and canoes, as well as his participation in the traditional cultural ceremonies.