Shawn was born February 5, 1980 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He was raised by his grandfather in his late mother's community of Gitkxaala or (Kitkatla).
Kitkatla is a small Tsimshian community situated approximately 45 km southwest of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, on the north side of Dolphin Island (sometimes called Lach klan). The name Kitkatla derives from the Tsimshian name Gitkxaała, from git- (people of) and kxaała(open sea), since they are the farthest from the mainland of the Tsimshian Nations.
Shawn comes from the Ganhada Clan (Raven Clan), House of Dzewalaks. He was inspired to do art at an early age as he saw the remaining poles in his community, and from his environment. Shawn's late mother had an interest in Northwest Coast art form line. His passion for the fine arts of the Northwest Coast was fueled by his becoming aware of his late mother’s interest in art.
He always wants to learn more and continue to improve his culture. Shawn says, "I get a fulfilling sense of pride portraying my culture through the classic Northwest Coast Art." His work is found in fine galleries in Canada and the United States and in private collections spanning the globe.