Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians) was born and raised in Ferndale, Washington, and spent a number of years in Palm Springs and Riverside, California as well as Portland, Oregon. He is currently based in Vancouver and Milwaukee. In Portland he studied and taught chinuk wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin. His video, photo and text work centres on personal positions of Indigenous homeland and landscape and designs of language as containers of culture, expressed through personal and documentary forms of media. He received his BA in Liberal Arts from Portland State University and his MFA in Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He currently teaches at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.
His work has been featured in various festivals including ImagineNATIVE Media + Arts Festival, Images, Wavelengths, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and Projections. His work was a part of the 2016 Wisconsin Triennial, the 2017 Whitney Biennial and the 2018 FRONT Triennial. He was a guest curator at the 2019 Whitney Biennial and was part of Cosmopolis #2 at the Centre Pompidou. He was awarded jury prizes at the Onion City Film Festival, the More with Less Award at the 2016 Images Festival, the Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker at the 54th Ann Arbor Film Festival, the New Cinema Award at the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, and the 2018 Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowship for Individual Artists in the Emerging Artist category. Sky Hopinka was named a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University in 2018–2019 and Sundance Art of Nonfiction Fellow for 2019.