William Hilamas Edward Wasden Jr. (Wak’analagalis) "The River Runs Through Him Forever" is a member of the ‘Namgis tribe of the Kwakwaka’wakw. He is a descendant of the Cook, Hunt, Alfred, Harris and Inis families. He can also trace his ancestry to the Tlingit of Alaska and the Mowachat of the West Coast. He has been initiated into the Hamat'sa Secret Society, the highest-ranking dance society of the Kwakwaka'wakw.
His artistic abilities have been developed through teachings from Chief Douglas Cranmer; and working with Simon and Francis Dick. In later years William's style was greatly influences by Haida Artist Don Yeomans. William's inspirational influences of old are the late Chiefs and Artists, Bob Harris, Herbert Johnson, Mungo Martin, Willie Seaweed, Henry Speck, and Charlie G. Walkus. William works mostly in flat design but also creates pieces in a variety of mediums. Most of his pieces have been commissions from families needing Potlatch paraphernalia, and they remain in the cultural world.
He has a great interest in singing and preserving the ancient songs of his people. Under the mentoring of the last song keeper composer, the late Chief Tom Willie and wife Elsie. William has been groomed as a song keeper and composer for Kwakwaka'wakw ceremony and everyday enjoyment. William has taught many of the young, up and coming singers and continues to contribute to cultural preservation by learning the songs of old. He continues to compose and bring forth songs when occasions call for new songs. He has trained other singers to record 3 CD's to assist his tribe in their efforts to fundraiser for various events needing funding. The CD titles are "One Nation One Voice", "Rising From The Ashes" and "Laxwe’gila".*
*Cited from www.pacificeditions.ca