Indigenous Ink

Ancient and modern TATTOOING

Dion Kaszas

About Me

Hello my name is Dion Kaszas, I am a person of mixed Hungarian, Métis, Hawaiian,and Interior Salish heritage and an urban Bill C-31 member of the Lower Nicola Indian band in Merritt, British Columbia, Canada. I work as a professional tattoo artist in a small town tattoo shop, Vertigo Tattoos and Body Piercing in Salmon Arm, British Columbia.  As a small town tattoo artist I do everything from small first time script to bigger multi session tattoos. I specialize in neo-tribal, dot work, black work and ornamental tattooing with a special emphasis on traditional hand tattooing techniques. These include hand poke and skin stitch tattooing methods which arise from my Nlaka'pamux (Interior Salish) culture. I started tattooing in 2009 under my mentor Carla Gosgnach the owner of Vertigo Tattoos since 1998, under her careful tutelage I have been given the gift of tattooing and I am honored. Although I specialize in the above mentioned areas I am always open to other genres of tattooing and welcome inquires about your next tattoo project, whether it be an intricate ornamental piece, a bright bold color floral design, or a subtle black and gray sleeve.


When not at the shop tattooing I work in other artistic mediums, including but not limited to oil, watercolor, graphite, mixed media collage, and video. Check out my tattoo and art gallery as well as the video section which includes some short films or past tattoo projects.


My passion for tattooing extends beyond my artistic work into my academic pursuit of a Masters degree in Indigenous Studies at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in Kelowna, British Columbia.  My area of research is Indigenous tattooing, focusing keenly on the revival of Indigenous peoples tattooing practices. I will be outlining the journey that I have taken as a tattoo artist involved in the revival of many Indigenous peoples tattooing practices, and asking others to share their journeys


Check out my blog, facebook page, Instagram, Youtube Channel, and research website,

   Press & Publications



"Analysis & Investigation of Graduate Research Projects: Proseminar Series 2014." (The Center for Social, Spatial & Economic Justice Press)

Edited by Vanessa Mitchell and Jewelles A. Smith


"Tattoo Traditions of Native North American: Ancient and Contemporary Expressions of Identity" (LM Publishers)

By Lars Krutak



"Spiritual Skin: Magical Tattoos and Scarification"(Edition Reuss)

  by Lars Krutak


You will find a few different types of videos in this section, the first kind of video will be videos that highlight so my tattoo projects. The second kind of video will be documentaries and short interviews from my research, the final kind of video will be artistic media works that I will be sharing with you. Enjoy!

Machine Tattoo Gallery


This gallery contains tattoos done by machine in all genres.

Traditional hand Tattoo Gallery

This gallery contains tattoos done by traditional hand techniques, including skin stitch and hand poke. If you are interested in getting a traditional tattoo don't hesitate to contact me and we will get working on it. Some of the distinctive differences with hand tattooing methods include less trauma to the skin, which means less healing time. It does take more time but as you can see the results are amazing. If you are an Indigenous person who is working on reviving your tattooing tradition and would like to get a traditional tattoo using either of these methods I am always excited to help others in embodying their culture on their skin.


This is a sample of my art in watercolor, mixed media, oil, graphite, chalk pastel and laser engraved wood panel. I will be adding more in the next few months when I get a chance to photograph them.


The first eight piece are connected to the Residential school experience in Canada and the US. The three are part of a series of laser engraved wood panel pieces that honor the words, and actions of Indigenous tattoo artists that are reviving their tattooing traditions. The blue oil painting is part of a series of paintings that are bringing back to life historic photographs of Indigenous tattooing. The last piece is watercolor and entitled "Decolonization"


This section highlights the places I will be visiting as guest artist, conventions I will be attending, or presentations I will be giving. Stay tuned as more events are to come.




Calgary tattoo & Arts Festival

BMO Centre (Calgary Stampede Park)‎


If you would like to get in contact with me for an appointment, drop me a line by entering your name email and a message in the box below and I will get back to you as soon as I possibly can.

Or you call the shop at (250) 804-0155 I am not in the shop everyday so easiest thing is to contact me via email.

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