WORLD

The Meaning Behind Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Tattoo

And he's not hiding it.

30/03/2017 2:06 AM AEDT | Updated 30/03/2017 3:03 AM AEDT

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a well-known feminist who recently pledged $650 million to expand women’s reproductive health services and sexual education around the world. During his time in office, Trudeau has expanded his country’s refugee program and even personally called constituents to talk out immigration issues with them. He’s also mastered the right way to shake President Trump’s hand without looking like a fool. It’s easy to say he’s beloved.

And though you may know a lot about his policies and his personal life, some people seemed to have forgotten one little detail about him that’s once again making the rounds ― his ink.

That’s right ― the 45-year-old has a big tattoo on his left shoulder: 

Carlo Allegri / Reuters
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepares to train at Gleason's Boxing Gym in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., April 21, 2016.
Carlo Allegri / Reuters
NBD, he boxes as well. 
Chris Wattie / Reuters
Trudeau (R) and conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau (L) pose after Trudeau defeated Brazeau during their charity boxing match in Ottawa March 31, 2012.
Chris Wattie / Reuters
Trudeau (R) kisses his wife Sophie Gregoire after defeating conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau during their charity boxing match in Ottawa March 31, 2012.

The Prime Minister tweeted about his tattoo, which is actually a combination of two tattoos, in 2012: 

The Haida are native people that reside in the Haida Gwaii territory, British Columbia and parts of Alaska. Robert Davidson (referenced in the tweet) is a renowned Haida artist. 

Part of the reason Trudeau may have gotten the tattoo is because his father, Pierre, was declared an honorary member of the Haida tribe in 1976 while he was serving as prime minister. Davidson’s grandmother “adopted” Pierre into her family’s clan when Justin Trudeau was just 4 years old.

Surprisingly, this occurred a few years after Pierre proposed a controversial policy (the 1969 White Paper) that would assimilate the native populations by eliminating their “Indian status.” 

The younger Trudeau has also come under fire with the Haida after his support of the Site C dam in British Columbia. 

Because of these reasons, some native people classify Trudeau’s tattoos as a form of cultural appropriation.

“It’s like me getting a basketball tattooed to my shoulder,” Haida tattoo artist Gregory Williams told Macleans magazine in 2016. “I don’t play basketball.”

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