The son of Hereditary Chief George Hunt and Mary Hunt, Tom D. Hunt is a member of the Kwakwaka'wakw Nation who was born in Victoria in 1964. Tom began apprenticing in Kwakwaka'wakw art with his father at the age of twelve and later worked with his brother George Hunt Jr. When entering his teenage years, Tom spent several summers in Campbell River working with his maternal grandfather, the late Sam Henderson. During that stage of the development of his Kwakwaka'wakw art style, Tom learned the artistic style of the 'Nakwaxda'xw Nation (Blunden Harbour).
Tom’s knowledge of the Kwakwaka’wakw family history is shared through the art he creates. Reinforced by the Kwakwaka’wakw culture and traditions carried on by the Hunt family’s involvement in the potlatch system, he has a deep appreciation of masks completed to be worn at family potlatches.
In 1983 he moved to his home village of Fort Rupert (Tsaxis) on the northern tip of Vancouver Island. There he worked as an assistant to his uncle, Calvin Hunt, owner and operator of the Copper Maker Gallery. This apprenticeship was an important period in Tom's development as a versatile and accomplished artist. Tom has also been an assistant carver to Susan Point on several of her large sculptures. He moves comfortably from massive wood sculptures to very small, intricate piece