Documentary - Completed 2019

All across Canada, Indigenous artists are reawakening both traditional and contemporary tattoo practices to reclaim their cultures and identities.

& Awards

Toronto - TIFF 2019
Short Cuts
Toronto - TIFF 2019
    • Year of production
    • 2019
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • CANADA
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0 - 0.3 M$
    • Duration
    • 16 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Asia YOUNGMAN
    • Producer(s)
    • Kent DONGUINES (Aimer Films Inc.), Mack STANNARD
    • Synopsis
    • This Ink Runs Deep features Indigenous tattoo artists from across Canada who are reviving their ancestral traditions that were taken away during colonization. We learn about the practices that were thought to be lost forever, and how this revival reflects a reawakening of pride, culture and identity. As we travel across Canada, we learn about the significance of tattoos for different Indigenous cultures, why they disappeared, and why they are now being brought back to life.

      In Terrace, British Columbia, Nisga’a artist Nakkita Trimble tattoos as a way to connect the generations of her community, with a goal to ignite an interest for youth to learn about their culture and ancestral crests. Jana Angulalik travels to Vancouver, BC from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut to exchange tattoos with Métis artist Audie Murray. Jana describes how receiving her traditional forehead tattoo solidified her identity as an Inuit woman. She now dedicates her work to helping other Inuit women also feel grounded in their identity. In Haida Gwaii, we are introduced to Kwiaahwah Jones, who uses a traditional stick and poke method to tattoo traditional Haida designs. Just a few doors down, Gregory Williams, the first Haida tattoo practitioner in over a century, uses a contemporary tattoo gun to build upon traditional Haida designs. Over on the east coast of Canada, Nlaka'pamux artist Dion Kaszas is a cultural practitioner and the Coordinator of Indigenous Affairs and Student Advising at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, where he is educating and mentoring his students about tattoo traditions. Although each artist carries their own unique style and perspective, they all share a common connection through their stories of strengthening their identity, and reviving and reclaiming traditional tattooing to preserve our cultures and teachings for future generations.