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Fireside with Lyndon Online: Pinock Smith and Rodney Sayers

On Thursday, January 27,  Lyndon J. Linklater was joined by Pinock Smith, an Anishinaabe canoe maker from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Nation near Maniwaki, Québec, and fellow canoe maker and artist Klewetua Rodney Sayers for Fireside Online.  

Smith is Algonquin from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Nation near Maniwaki, Québec. His ancestors in the Eastern Woodlands relied heavily on birchbark canoes as a mode of transportation and Smith is a master Algonquin birchbark canoe builder. He is also a gifted craftsmen of toboggans, cradleboards, paddles, drums and other traditional items. Smith has participated in many demonstrations and workshops that allow him to pass on the traditional knowledge handed down to him.   

Klewetua Rodney Sayers, is a Hupacasath artist from Ahswinis, Port Alberni, British Columbia, and is a descendant of the Nuu Chah Nulth peoples. Sayers received an associate’s degree in Studio Arts from Capilano College in North Vancouver in 1994, and earned his BFA with Distinction from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 1997. He completed his MFA in 2000 from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, where he studied jewellery and metals, woodworking and cultural theory. After completing his formal education, Sayers returned home to Ahswinis. His practice has focused on integrating his beliefs about language and tradition into his contemporary visual work. He has since worked on several major public carvings, including a large work for the Vancouver Olympics, which was permanently installed at the Richmond speed skating oval 2009. 

Sayers has worked intensely with the elder fluent speakers of his community on preserving and revitalizing the Nuu Chah Nulth language, work that has deeply influenced his work as a Nuu Chah Nulth artist. 

Smith and Sayers’s work will be at Remai Modern in a new exhibition Canoe, opening January 29 in Remai Modern’s free Connect Gallery. Canoe is curated by Michelle Jacques, Head of Exhibitions & Collections/Chief Curator; Kelly Tolley, Remai Modern Program Guide (Indigenous Arts and Programs); and Lyndon J. Linklater, Indigenous Relations Advisor at Remai Modern. 

We proudly acknowledge SaskEnergy for their sponsorship of this year’s series of Fireside with Lyndon chats.