Long-awaited Indigenous tattoo for an Adrift Lab team member

Many Indigenous communities have unique cultural practices based around tattooing. For some Nations, the symbols and motifs are inherited and have been passed down over deep time. In north-central Canada, where I’m from, the women (of some tribes) used “hand-poke” or “skin-stitching” techniques to apply traditional markings to the chin or hands.

Tattoos were applied at key life moments, reflected spirituality, connection to Country and culture, or to aid with healing and pain. This week, Dr Jenn had tattoos applied to her hands (and wrists) reflect traditional lines and Cree syllabics, and are in acknowledgment of her grandfather, and numerous other family members, who felt pressure to hide their Indigenous heritage for decades to ensure their children and grandchildren had access to education, land, and did not suffer as they did.

Indigenous tattooing: traditional lines (on the fingers of women) and Cree syllabics.

Gratitude to Akasha Tattoo (Michael) for his patience and attention to tradition and detail, and to all those powerhouse Indigenous women out there!

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