Bill Henderson


March 21, 1950

Campbell River, BC

Master Carver Bill Henderson is a member of the Wei Wai Kum Nation in Campbell River, BC. He is one of seventeen children born to artist Sam Henderson and May Quocksister Henderson. As a child, Bill learned from his father, a self-taught carver. He learned to make his own tools and created his first piece at the age of seven. In his late teens, Bill began to sell his work, always keeping his family's traditional style of carving. In 1993, Bill carved a totem pole for Campbell River's sister city, Ishikari, Japan, which stands in front of their City hall. In 1997, Bill was commissioned to create the four corner poles in Campbell River's Kwanwatsi Big House. Many of Bill's pieces are made for and used in Potlatches and ceremonies as well as collected and exhibited all over the world, including Japan, Australia, Belgium, and in private collections. He is also a talented dancer, performing at numerous potlatches and ceremonies, which he credits with inspiring many of his carvings. Like his father before him, Bill has taken upon himself the responsibility of educating future generations in the art of carving and traditional designs. He views his work as an integral part in the maintenance and regeneration of Kwakwaka’wakw culture.