Willie (William) Wadhams was born in 1966 in Alert Bay, British Columbia, located off the northeastern coast of Vancouver Island. He is cousins with artist Cheryl Wadhams. He is a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation, a group which inhabits the southern coast of the province. Willie takes the Thunderbird and the Sisiutl (Double Headed Sea Serpent), two powerful mythical creatures, as his family crest symbols.
Willie began making native artwork in 1985 under the guidance of his uncle, Ray Wadhams. Willie, already belonging to a family who were prominent and proven northwest coast carvers, reveals that it was only natural that he began to carve.
Willie is interested in his native culture and identity and hopes that through his artwork he is able to help preserve and pass on this heritage.