This Ink Runs Deep features Indigenous tattoo artists across Canada who are reviving ancestral traditions that were taken away during colonization. Through the film, directed by Asia Youngman, we learn about the practices that were thought to be lost forever, and how their revival reflects a reawakening of Indigenous identity. Stream This Ink Runs Deep now on CBC Gem and worldwide on YouTube.
“I never thought I was gonna be a tattoo artist when I graduated from art school,” says Nakkita Trimble, the only tattoo artist from the Nisga’a Nation. “I kept having these dreams about taking an ash, making an ink and tattooing my grandmother onto a bear hide, and so I went home to visit. In Prince Rupert I got this tattoo done on my wrist and tattooing was really the only art scene that was happening in Prince Rupert.” Now living in Terrace, B.C., Trimble is an instructor at the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art, where she also attended as a student. And the revival of Nisga’a tattoing practices has become an integral part of her life.