Jarvis Street is now the home to a brand new Indigenous tattoo parlour called Inkdigenous Tattoo. The new ink spot is run by Toby Sicks, who funded the whole place himself.
When CBC visited the shop and a customer was getting a tree tattooed on them, Sicks said “the tree is rooted, so it has a long history behind it. It means something to culture and tradition.” This is the most important part of the shop, as it serves as a safe space and educational hub for the Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike.
It operates as a place that the Indigenous can find shelter or services, and the non-Indigenous can learn about the culture and help defeat stereotypes.
Talking to CBC, the owner explained that “five hundred years of intergenerational trauma, 500 years of lost language, culture and tradition, has made a huge gap in the development of Indigenous people. We were on idle because we were still just trying to feel the impacts of what was going on.”
Sicks wants to make a point that with Indigenous businesses popping up and the public’s reaction being in shock that they’re capable and thriving, that way of thinking comes from a lifetime of marginalization and oppression.
It’s places like this that bring people together and help the healing process that is necessary after Canada’s dark history.
Not only are they educating the public and helping Indigenous peoples, but Inkdigenous Tattoo is donating a portion of sales toward an Indigenous language and culture camp.
Header photo courtesy of CityNews Toronto