Johnathan Henderson was born in Alert Bay in the year 1969, and is a member of the Campbell River Weiwaikum Band. Jonathan’s father, hereditary chief Dan Henderson, gave him the name Akh Akh yala gilis (“man standing on the beach with his mouth open”) when he was initiated as a Hamatsa dancer. In 1999, Johnathan and his brother Sean Whonnock raised a 25-foot totem pole in Thunderbird Park, Victoria, BC. The crests honours both the Henderson and Whonnock families. The totem pole was dedicated to the Coast Salish people on behalf of the Kwakwala-speaking people.
Johnathan later moved to Alert Bay which allows him the opportunity to carve with family and fellow carvers as well as become more involved in the culture he was born into; learning more about the songs, dances and structure of what makes a potlatch.