David Boxley is an artist of national prominence noted both as a carver and a performer in native Tsimshian dance. He attended Seattle University receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in 1974, afterwards becoming a Junior and Senior High School teacher and basketball coach in Metlakatla, 1979. At this time he began to study traditional Tsimshian carving techniques.
In 1986 he made a major career change toward carving and researching Northwest Coast Indian art. Since this time, he has exhibited his work in many different countries worldwide, received many commissions and has taught and demonstrated at many museums and institutes worldwide. He has also been deeply involved with the rebirth of Tsimshian culture through organizing and hosting potlatches in Alaska and Washington, being responsible for the first Seattle Northwest Coast Potlatch in one hundred years (1996). He also has been directly involved in the formation of two successful dance groups in Metlakatla, Alaska and Seattle, Washington. He is the leader of the Tsimshian Haayuuk in Seattle and has written over 25 songs in his native language.
In 1990, Boxley was commissioned to carved crown of a “talking stick” depicting a Russian bear and an American eagle as a symbol of peace and harmony between the USA and Soviet Union for the Goodwill Games. Messages from both presidents (Geo. Bush and M. Gorbachev) were placed inside the talking stick and atheletes carried the stick from Spokane through Washington, Oregon and onto Seattle for the opening ceremonies.