Todd Stephens was born in Gitlaxdax (Terrace, BC) in 1988 to the House of Gitlaxaylibit of Sim’oogit Siispaguut and Sim’oogit Ni’isyuus of the Killerwhale Tribe, from the old village of Git’iks.
His Nisga’a name is Hlgu Sk’an Milksim Ts’im Aks, given to him at the age of eight by his maternal great-grandmother. His interest in Nisga’a art began at age fourteen, while watching his uncle Albert Stephens transfer a design to watercolour paper to be ready for painting. From that time he has continued to draw the ideas that flow to him.
Todd graduated from the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art’s Fine Arts Diploma program in 2009. He won the YVR Art Foundation Scholarship Award in 2008 and 2010. This award enabled him to showcase a hummingbird headdress (’09–‘10) and a salmon drum with a carved salmon drumstick (’11–’12).