May 1, 2022
Tunniit alison mesher

Edition #10 – May 2022

Hello, my name is Alison Mesher, 27. I’m from Kuujjuaq Quebec. I am a mother of two amazing children. I have many passions in life, one of them being a traditional hand poke tattooist. In my lifetime, I never thought I would love it like I do today. It all started when I felt inspired by the well-known revitalizer of traditional tattoos, Hovak Johnston. She came to Montreal a few years ago to tattoo some students at Nunavik Sivunitsavut. Not knowing I would ever get to meet this incredible woman, I was invited to go witness a beautiful moment that I will never forget. She tattooed a good friend of mine in her home and gave the opportunity to my friend to tattoo her beloved late husband as well. Soon after, Hovak then hand poked traditional tattoos on my sister’s face. My spark to tattoo beamed through me at that moment. It was an emotional but very moving moment in my life. I would also just like to add that Hovak and I don’t personally know each other, in fact she might not even know who I am but I follow her work on social media and many other Inuit traditional tattoo artists to keep me going. I have learnt a lot through my very beautiful and talented friend, Arsaniq Deer who is also on a journey with her traditional tattoo revitalization movement. She has been my motivator and mentor during my tattooing journey. I started tattooing after Arsaniq had done my thighs, she gave me the opportunity to tattoo my own self a bit to get the feel of movement and pressure. After our session she helped me order my products and then I was able to practice on my sisters, with their willingness and trust only have I came this far. It’s been about 2 years since Instarted, so far, I think I could say I’ve tattooed more or less 20 people. That may not seem a lot but during my journey I also went through a patch where I questioned if tattooing was really for me. I have had a lot of support from my friends and family thus I was able to continue. I don’t tattoo regularly or on a daily basis, I do it when I feel at peace and total comfort with my surroundings and self. Hopefully in the near future I will get to tattoo more and, with other Inuit who are also in that path. I have never felt more connected to my culture than I do now when I tattoo traditionally. I, myself have traditional Inuit tattoos on my arm, fingers, face and thighs. Growing up, I never saw women with traditional tattoos. Today it is more common and accepted than it used to be. I will forever be proud to be Inuk and to be able to help revitalize what was taken away from our ancestors.

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Uvikkait Ullumi is a newspaper that highlights youth achievements, initiatives and concerns in the region. This project also passes on relevant information and promotes plenty of opportunities in order to inspire and empower the younger generations to become more active in the region. The newspaper is offered in both Inuktitut and English.