Gwaai (Hluugiitgaa) is an Eagle from the Ts'aalth clan. He was born in 1977 to Jenny Nelson, an author and teacher, and Guujaaw, a drummer, carver and political leader.
The late Bill Reid began mentoring and training him in the traditional forms of Haida art when Gwaai was sixteen. At the age of nineteen, Gwaai worked on his first totem pole under his father, Guujaaw. It was forty feet tall, and now stands in Indonesia. Since then, he has worked on three additional poles with his father.
In 2002, Gwaai assisted Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas with his graphic novel, "A Tale of Two Shamans." This experience nurtured a penchant for more experimantal themes in Haida art.
As a graduate of Vancouver Community College, Gwaai studied Jewelry Art and Design. Casting was of particular interest to him and remains his preferred medium to this day. His works boast a refined and delicate design, complemented with abalone shell embellishment. His miniature scale jewelry pieces are delicate and intricate, exemplifying his attention to detail.