Allen Sapp was born in the winter (January 2, 1928) on the Red Pheasant Reserve in North Central Saskatchewan. He was raised and cared for by his grandmother. He was often sick throughout his childhood. He used his art to express himself. Sapp has been recognized internationally for his paintings of life on the Northern Plains as well as his works depicting the culture of the Cree people.
In 1975, he was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. He was named Officer of the Order of Canada in 1986, and was one of the first recipients of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 1985. Sapp was honoured by the Saskatchewan Arts Board with the Lifetime Award of Excellence in the Arts in 1996. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Regina in 1998 and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Aboriginal Awards in 1999.