Henderson, Samuel (Sam)

Family patriarch, Samuel (Sam) Henderson was born in a Nakwaktok village in 1905. His father was Kenneth Henderson, a Scottish engineer and his mother Lucy Johnson, a high ranking Nakwatok woman. He grew up at Blunden Harbour across from Port Hardy and Alert Bay, British Columbia. Sam moved to Campbell River on Vancouver Island in 1934 when he married May Quocksistala, the eldest daughter of the local Wei wai kum Band's Chief John Quocksistala. Sam was a well- known master carver and his awe-inspiring totem poles, masks, talking sticks and other works are in museums and private collections worldwide.

Throughout their lives Sam and May were dedicated to keeping their cultural heritage alive and instilling in their fifteen children a knowledge and respect for these ancient traditions. Since his death, Sam's spirit has lived on in Campbell River through an impressive Thunderbird totem pole and several feast bowls at the Campbell River museum. Sam and May's descendants, perpetuate their Kwakwa ka'wakw heritage through carving, cultural performances, and other activities. 

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