Birthplace: Kingcome Inlet
Tribal Affiliation: Kwakwaka'wakw
Francis Dick belongs to the Musgamakw Dzawadaenutw Band of Kingcome Inlet and is a member of the Kwakwaka'wakw Nation. She is a descendant of the supernatural Wolf, Kawadelekala, who was the first of the Kingcome people. The image of this mythical being is prominent in much of Fran Dick’s work. The wolf Kawadelekala is one of four siblings, which came from a wolf named Galalalite. In the origin story of Dick’s family, Galalalite came out of the top end of Kingcome Inlet. From Galalalite came four wolves: Kawadelekala, his brother Kwalili, their sister Hayalilegas and the youngest brother Na’nola’kw. Kawadelekala stayed in Kingcome Inlet and shed his animal form to become first of the Kingcome people of whom Fran Dick’s family is direct descendents. Much of her work contains images of Kawadelekala acknowledging her contemporary ties to her cultural past. Francis says that "Before anything else, my work is about honoring my life process, my journey through my fires, from places of pain and darkness to places that I might stand in my truth; my work is not a career, it is a way of life."
Fran was born in the small village of Alert Bay in 1959. She spent the majority of her childhood there until she moved away to Victoria as a young adult. As a young woman, Francis began a career as a social worker but soon realized that her true work in life was to honour her natural artistic talents. Francis produced carvings in Alert Bay for several years, working with her first cousin Beau Dick, Bruce Alfred and Fah Ambers. This work soon allowed Francis to discover that she also loved writing and performing. In June 1992, she wrote and produced a ceremony performance called ‘Wiwoma’ at the Newcome Theater in Victoria. It was such a success that it has been twice repeated since its first opening. Although she expresses herself primary though paintings, prints, and singing, Francis also works with gold, silver and wood. Currently, Francis offers drum-making workshops and is often requested to speak for various community organizations, women's groups and university classes. In October 1994, Francis was initiated into the highest-ranking society in her nation, the Hamatsa. She presently lives in Victoria, B.C. where she is continually working with her creative expressions to fabricate a meaningful way of life.