2022 Indigenous Tattoo Gathering takes place in Tyendinaga this weekend

Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory’s 2nd Annual Indigenous Tattoo Gathering is taking place at the Legacy 420 event grounds at 756 York Rd starting Friday May 20th and going until Monday May 23. The event is open to all.

Vendors, and Indigenous tattoo artists who are just finding out about this event, are encouraged to attend and participate. All updates about the event can be found on the event website at www.indigenoustattoogathering.com

Kanenhariyo explains some of the details about the gathering.

The gathering opens on Friday morning with a meeting of all the tattoo practitioners to discuss health and safety procedures and the revitalization of traditional Indigenous cultures. Tattooing starts on Friday afternoon and will go non-stop until the event ends on Monday. 

For the general public, the cost for one day’s entry at the gathering is $20, and it’s $60 to attend the full event. Camping at the event location is free. There’s no running water or showers at the camp site.

An Anishinaabe lodge – the 8th Fire Cultural Centre – has offered to come and set up a kitchen, and they’re running a kitchen as a fundraiser so support cultural revitalization for Indigenous People. There are meal tickets for breakfast ($10) lunch ($15) and dinner ($20), and you buy tickets for the food. If you want to get or bring your own food you can. 

Tattoo artists attending include, Dion Kaszas an Nlaka’pamux cultural tattoo practitioner and a leader in the revival of Indigenous tattooing in Canada; Crystal Kimewon from  Wiikwemkoong Unceded Indian Territory, Sheri Osden Nault Michif & nêhiyaw of the Charette and Bélanger families, Keith Callihoo from Treaty 6 Territory, MFN, cultural tattoo practitioner, airbrush, carver; Dean Bonaventure McColeman, Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg; Kanenhariyo, Bear Clan from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory; and many others. A full list of artists is available here.

Friday evening will be a social dance. Saturday will see a concert from Indigenous musicians including Logan Staats, Landback Lane Unity Jam, James Wilson, Rob LaMoth, Andy Mason and Keven Schofield. On Sunday there will be a fireball game.

Stop motion photography of the big tents going up at the 2022 Traditional Tattoo Gathering.

Those who attend are coming together to make the event. It’s all about connections and building responsibility for one another, so if you see something that needs to be done and can help, pitch in and do it. 

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