Kwakwaka'wakw artist Junior Henderson was born in 1976 and is a member of the Wei Wai Kum First Nation in Campbell River, BC. He was given the hereditary chief name of “Udzistalis”, meaning "to go against the tide", from his father, Chief Dan Henderson. As the Hereditary Chief of the Wei Wai Kum Band of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation from Campbell River, British Columbia, Junior passed on his chieftainship to his brother Johnathan Henderson. Junior's existing name is ƛ̓aqwasgəm, meaning “coppers all-around” or “he has the value and esteem of coppers”.
Born in 1976, Junior inherited the Henderson family’s artistic talent from his grandfather Chief Sam Henderson, his uncles Bill Henderson and Mark Henderson, as well as from his father Dan Henderson a traditional painter, artist, storyteller, and cultural historian.
From the day he was born, Junior was deeply immersed in his local Kwakwaka’wakw traditions. He was initiated into the Hamatsa society at the age of two and has been dancing traditionally ever since. Immersed in the rich artistic legacy of Kwakwaka’wakw Potlatch Carvers, Junior began apprenticing at the age of twelve with his uncle Mark Henderson (for painting and design-work) and with his uncle Bill Henderson (for carving). Junior has also drawn inspiration from his brother, Johnathan Henderson, Cousin Tommy Hunt and Willie Seaweed. In 2000, he and Bill Henderson carved the totem poles for the Wei Wai Kum's Kwanwatsi Big House in Campbell River.
Junior Henderson has become a truly extraordinary carver, a significant cultural bearer for his people, a tireless supporter of his native and non-native community and a very wise and humble individual. We are very proud to represent this exceptional individual.