New Westminster, B.C
Sweewa was born to a Coast Salish mother and a German father, and his grandfather is Hereditary Chief Coquitlam Williams. At age 11 an unfortunate accident left him with one arm, so he turned to First Nations art during his years of recuperation. He left home at the age of 15, and partially supported himself by carving masks and small totems. In 1963 he entered the Vancouver School of Art, studying Commercial Art an Sculpture. For 16 years he worked as a professional Architectural model builder and commercial artist. Recently, he has focused his talents on making traditionally painted drums for Spirit Dancing and bone games. In 1996 he taught himself to engrave and carve silver and gold.