Pair working to revive the lost skill of fish tanning – Nunatsiaq News

by ahnationtalk on June 1, 2023110 Views

Jun 1, 2023

Tattoo artist and fish-tanner travel Nunavik with goal to restore a tradition lost through colonialism

Tattoo artist Arsaniq Deer and full-time fish tanner Janey Chang are helping to revitalize a lost skill in Nunavik.

The pair recently hosted fish-tanning workshops in Akulivik and Ivujivik, as part of the Ilurqusitigut program (which means ‘through our culture’ in Inuktitut), the cultural subsection of the adult education program at Nunavik’s school board.

“I’d never thought I’d be able to do this kind of work,” said Deer, seated next to Chang during a phone call from their hotel room in Akulivik.

The workshops can be used to add credits toward participants’ high school diplomas. The plan is for them to be hosted in all 14 communities in Nunavik.

This was the first time Deer joined Chang to help lead the fish-tanning workshops. The school board wants to have Inuit train Inuit, so Deer is shadowing Chang to learn the skills and eventually pass them on to others herself.

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