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Allen Sapp (1928 - ) - Biography

Allen Sapp was born in the winter of 1928 on the Red Pheasant Reserve in north central Saskatchewan. He was often sick as a child and was picked on by the other children. He never learned to read or write but found refuge and satisfaction in drawing pictures.

At the age of fourteen Sapp was stricken with spinal meningitis. His recovery from this near fatal illness was slow and exhausting but he fought it knowing there was a purpose for this frail one to help his fellow Cree.

Inside he knew one day he would be instrumental in communicating the enduring spirit of his gentle people and their struggle to survive in the harsh Canadian north.

Encouraged by the friendship and advice of his friend Doctor Gonor to paint what he knew Sapp began recording daily life on the reservation, their work and play. He brought their story to the world.

In 1985 Allen Sapp received the prestigious Saskatchewan Award of Merit for his contribution to the Cree Nation. In 1985, The Govenor General of Canada Jeanne Sauve appointed Sapp an Officer to the Order of Canada. His art continues to educate and fascinate.

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