Derek J. White is a Haida Artist from Old Masset who has lived on Haida Gwaii all his life. His father Morris White, who carved silver, argillite, gold and wood, was Chief of the Edinsu (Edenshaw) Eagle Clan of Kiusta until he passed away in 1997. His grandfather, Geoffrey White, was the grandson of the great carver Charles Edenshaw.
Derek's family including his brother and master carver Christian White lived next door to Robert Davidson's house and there he witnessed Robert's first Pole raising in 1969. In 1985 Derek started carving and carpentry work. He helped his father and brothers carve and build a red cedar canoe and a carving shed. He began apprenticing under Master Carver Jim Hart from 1990 until 2000. He worked on several Poles including one that was completed in San Francisco. He also worked extensively on Jim Hart's Longhouse, the Frog Constellation, (a huge sculpture in red Cedar), and some smaller projects.
In 1995 Derek worked with his brothers Christian, Todd and brothers-in-law, on the Chief Edenshaw House frontal Pole, which was carved and raised in 1995. He worked for Jim Hart on the Edenshaw Memorial Pole, which was raised in front of his Longhouse in August of 1999. In the year 2000, Derek worked in Skidegate for Tim Boyko and the Qay?llnagaay Heritage Center Society on a large totem pole. He enjoys working on the larger projects, but is also one of the best Haida jewelers working in both silver and gold.