Robert Sebastian

Northwest Coast Native Artist Robert Sebastian from Gitksan Nation

Gitksan Nation

Robert Sebastian was born in 1952 in Hazelton, British Columbia. The municipality of Hazelton is located along the Skeena River, within Gitxsan traditional territory. This territory covers approximately 33,000 square kilometers of northwest British Columbia, a region that is home to many of British Columbia’s First Nations communities.

Throughout a career that spans more than 40 years, Robert has proven to be an exceptionally skilled storyteller. He has applied these skills across a diverse set of mediums, including carving, painting, dance, journalism, and writing. Of late, the paintings that he produces are a combination of traditional and contemporary First Nations styles, painted with acrylics on acid-free paper.

His work has earned him a place among Canada’s most highly acclaimed artists in traditional First Nations styles, and can be found in the collections of governments, celebrities, and Indigenous art connoisseurs across the globe. Even the British Royal family’s collection features some of his pieces.

Despite his international fame, Robert remains an artist that values family and the local community. He is a dedicated activist, and often donates money to various charities and cultural events. Although he spent much of his earlier life travelling the world, Robert has now returned to his ancestral home of Hazelton.

He has a strong passion for keeping traditional styles alive, both through his own art and through the work he does for his community to pass his knowledge on to the younger generations.