I am honoured to be working in solidarity with the Secwepemc Land Defenders in assisting with the Indigenous Tattooing action and Gathering that is being held in Secwepemcul’ecw on July 7th and 8th, 2018. Kanahus Manuel and I have been discussing hosting a traditional Indigenous tattoo gathering for a number of years now, even though we are only a week and a bit away we felt it was important that this tattooing action and gathering go forward with the intention of bringing attention to the potentially devastating impact of the twining of the Trans Mountain Pipeline project.
I shared this narrative in connection to the Featured Image at the beginning of this post on my instagram late last night.
I have been tattooing since 2009 and started researching my Nlaka’pamux ancestral tattooing practices in 2010, and began the work of reviving our tradition in 2012. I began this work and began a healing journey, I have found a sense of who I am and found the places that I belong. I had a fractured sense of who I am as an Nlaka’pamux person because of the legislative violence of the Indian act and a plethora of other colonial genocidal practices. My friend and colleague Nahaan says this work we do as cultural tattoo practitioners, “helps to stitch us back together.” It’s almost like I have lived my life in a colonial fog and now that the wounds are healing I begin to realize all of the nasty, inhuman and immoral things that have been done to my people have been to strip us of our land. This is why I stand in solidarity with my Secwepemc sister Kanahus Manuel and the Secwepemc Land Defenders protecting and asserting their sovereignty over Secwepemcul’ecw. It is time for us to stand together, practicing our traditions, stitching ourselves back together and supporting the fight for our lands, our waters, and the future generations of all peoples.
This work that we do to solidify our identities helps to balance us out in this crazy world, once we find a sense of balance and stability we are given responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to act in this world in a way that ensures “the people to be” (coming generations) have a world worth inheriting. One of the reasons we tattoo, is so that our nieces, nephews, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and all those who will come after us will have clean water, territories filled with the animal people and a vibrant, thriving culture.
We need your help as we gather to stitch ourselves back together, click on this link and find out more information on location and how you can help.
Please share this link among your networks and donate to this cause.
Indigenous Tattooing Action Held in Solidarity with Secwepemc Land Defenders
When: July 7 & July 8, 2018
Where: North Thompson provincial park, Unceded Secwepemc Territory
We need your help as we gather to share the healing that comes from #tattoomedicine