Tansi, Ni Wa-coo-mah-kan-tic (Plains Cree: Hello all my relations), Boozhoo Do-demdic (Ojibway: Hello my relatives)!
My name is Lyndon J Linklater. I am from Thunderchild Cree Nation, Treaty 6 Territory (Saskatchewan) and I also have roots in Couchiching Ojibway First Nation, Treaty 3 Territory (northwestern Ontario).
I am honoured to have started as the Indigenous Relations Advisor for Remai Modern. I have been a resident of Saskatoon since 1983 and in that time I have seen our city become more diverse. I have witnessed positive changes, including a greater understanding of Indigenous history and protocols by our city’s institutions. I am excited about the potential of Remai Modern to build even more on those changes.
I bring both a university education and traditional Indigenous teachings, acquired as an elders’ helper (Oskapews), to my role. I plan to blend the two in my work with Remai Modern, helping to further develop its relationship with the Indigenous community and become the world-class institution it aspires to be.
Prior to the museum’s grand opening, I attended a series of meetings involving Remai Modern Executive Director and CEO Gregory Burke, senior Remai Modern staff, Mayor Charlie Clark, City of Saskatoon staff, and local First Nations and Métis Elders to talk about this newly formed cultural institution. We asked about how the museum should proceed in a meaningful and appropriate way from an Indigenous perspective. The Elders suggested that we have our entire building smudged, have Elders perform a pipe ceremony and include an Indigenous celebratory component in the grand opening. Accordingly, we prepared our staff by teaching them about the meaning of smudging and a pipe ceremony. In September 2017, the entire Remai Modern building was smudged, a process that took me nearly two hours to complete. About a week prior to our grand opening, we arranged for Elders to perform a pipe ceremony that took place inside our building. Remai Modern board, staff and family members were invited. Those who attended expressed gratitude at having been part of the ceremony. The Indigenous component at our grand opening on October 21, 2017 was second to none, including an opening ceremony that featured First Nations powwow dancing and Métis fiddling and jigging.
The fact that Indigenous voices and protocols have been included so far has great meaning to Indigenous peoples and says a lot about Remai Modern.
I thank Remai Modern for asking me to continue in this important role and I look forward to our future together. Hai Hai (Cree: thank you), Meegwetch (Ojibway: thank you)!
-Lyndon J. Linklater, Indigenous Relations Advisor
Lyndon J. Linklater at Remai Modern's Grand Opening on October 21, 2017.
Remai Modern is temporarily closed in an effort to help mitigate risks to the public related to the spread of COVID-19.
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102 Spadina Crescent East
Saskatoon SK S7K 0L3