Stephanie Papik is an indigenous Inuit woman, experienced facilitator and program manager, current Director of Indigenous Relations and Stakeholder Engagement for a division of the government of British Columbia, as well as fibre artist and entrepreneur.
What strikes many people upon first meeting Stephanie, probably second after her big warm smile, are her beautiful facial tattoos.
I was so pleased she agreed to come on the show and talk about what these tattoos mean to her and to her Inuit culture.
Other resources mentioned in this episode:
- Uqalurait: An Oral History of Nunavut, a book created by Inuit elders for Inuit
- Tunniit: Retracing The Lines Of Inuit Tattoos by Alethea Anaquq-Baril
- The animation of the Tunniit story related to Stephanie’s forehead tattoo
- Star Maiden’s Circle process
A note from filmmaker, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, on appropriation:
“Also, I am often approached by men and/or non-native people, who are interested in getting these tattoos that are traditionally for Inuit women. Please watch this Q&A video here to see a discussion on this. You can also read a bit more about Inuit tattoos and cultural appropriation here.”
And one last parting thought from Stephanie around the grief and loss:
“I am grateful for your efforts to normalize. I would add that I laugh and I cry everyday, tears are healing medicine and they release stress hormones. As well with respect to rage, my mother was a registered nurse for her career in old folk homes, and she taught me to go in a room and to do a silent clenched fist rage to move the energy out the body.”
Follow Stephanie as @sisterchinook on Instagram.