Born in 1953 and raised on Manitoulin Island on Lake Huron in Ontario, Don Ense is an Ojibwe artist who has been significantly influenced by the Woodlands School. This includes artists such as Daphne Odjig, Carl Ray and Norval Morrisseau.
He is also influenced by well-known European artists such as Van Gogh and Picasso. He has illustrated a book entitled ‘Friends of God’ about Joseph Chiwatenhwa by Bruce Henry. He has studied at multiple schools including the Ojibway Cultural Foundation, Cambrian College and at schools in Toronto.