Acceptance and Intolerance

Hemlock Tattoo has a policy of being accepting and encouraging towards the presence of people of every gender, sexuality, ethnicity and type. They will be made to feel comfortable, free and in possession of their own privacy and will to share or not share. Any reasonable request that they have in relation to this will be validated, respected and accommodated where possible.


This studio does not commit to an attitude of erasure of identity or expression, or the ignorance of any difference. Any kind of person with any kind of identity, within reason, will be accommodated to according to their needs and preferences and recognized in their identity, if they would like to be. The consciousness of that identity and any preferences of treatment around that will be volunteered by the studio in the booking process to best accommodate each client. However, the client can choose to abstain from providing this information or having their identity projected in the studio and in communications with the tattooist.


In order to enable this, there are a few ground rules to ensure that everyone feels as welcome and comfortable as possible at all times. The studio will constantly implement a process of ethical consent where the clients comfort and safety are routinely checked in on and addressed if necessary. Consent is a process and one that we are committed to engaging with at all times to cultivate and maintain an environment where everyone can feel safe, considered and heard. Hemlock Tattoo is also committed to seeking out training and education to further our knowledge and understanding of how to operate a safe and inclusive environment. If you, the client, feel unsafe, uncomfortable, dismissed or silenced at any point, or witness any problematic behaviour, please let the artist or studio manager know.

Sexual abuse and harassment

Hemlock Tattoo runs a no tolerance policy towards sexual abuse and harassment, and attempts towards it. This includes: breaking physical, verbal and social boundaries in a sexual nature that is not consented to; deliberately making attempts to cause someone to be in an unneeded state of undress not consented to; attempting to use the conditions of the tattooing process to influence or precipitate a sexual interaction or gaze.


Further examples include engaging in any physical contact with someone without their prior consent or self-initiation, or expressing any sexually transgressive comments or sexually based jokes. These are, however, not the limitations of the definition of sexual harassment or abuse.


Any client or tattooist found or reported to be deliberately carrying out sexual abuse, harassment or attempts to do so, will be made to apologize, talked to about their behaviour, given training and educational resources to better understand the harmful nature of their actions,  or removed from the studio permanently, depending on the feelings of the victim, severity of their actions, how clearly at fault they are, and their history.


A pronoun is how you refer to someone, for example ‘she’ ‘he’ or ‘they’. The studio will ask you what your pronouns are when the booking/consultation process has started, and confirmed when you arrive at the the studio. From then on, anyone from the studio will use your correct pronouns, even if the words are unfamiliar to them, and vice versa for tattooists. If a mistake is made and someone is referred to by the wrong pronoun, they will be apologized to and the proper pronouns will be used going forward.

Safe words

If the client desires, a safe word or hand gesture will also be discussed during the booking/consultation process that will be honoured during the entirety of the tattooing process. This will ensure that any client can stop the process at any time for any reason without judgment or questioning and will ensure that no one but the artist will be aware that a request to stop has been made. This is to help accommodate those who may find asking to stop embarrassing or difficult when in a room with other clients and artists or if a person is unable to communicate verbally that they wish to stop. If you do not feel you need or want a safe word/hand gesture you do not need to create one with your artist. 

Touring the Space/Accessibility 

Hemlock Tattoo will provide images and videos of the space on our website for any person to view ahead of their appointment in order to give them an idea of the space, layout, amenities and accessibility. Any person can also view the outside of our building and surrounding area via google street view. We have a paid parking lot behind our building and ample street parking near our location. 

We will also be conducting an audit of our space by professionals for accessibility reasons. Measurements will be taken of our entrances and doorways as well as the open spaces in order to provide any person with varying mobility requirements the information they need to know to comfortably enter and move around our space.

We are located in a heritage building that has stairs leading up to the entrance. If you have mobility requirements please contact either your artist or to let us know about what you require. We are able to rent ramps for day use to allow those in chairs to access our shop. If this is something you require do not hesitate to let us know. 


It is the right of our clients to know ahead of time who else will be in the shop while they are getting tattooed. If this is not brought up in the booking/consultation process do not hesitate to ask your artist who and how many other people will be present during your tattoo. If you require a more private appointment for any reason please let your artist know.

Due to COVID protocols you never have to expect any more than six other individuals besides yourself in the shop at any time. This accounts for our three artists and their clients and our one manager. This limited number also allows for space to social distance.


No assumptions will be made about someone’s identity. Details of anyone’s identity will only arise from them, if they want to communicate that. People will think about the ways that people from other groups may be impacted in different ways by any issues being discussed. Everyone will be aware that their experiences as a person of their gender, sexuality or ethnicity may not necessarily be the same as everybody else’s. Everyone will be aware of their position and the privilege that they may bring regarding, for example, your race, class, gender identity, ability or age.

Oppressive behaviour

Racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, ableism, fatphobia, ageism or discrimination on basis of ethnicity, immigration status, or religious, cultural, and/or spiritual beliefs, or any other kind of oppressive behaviour is unacceptable.

Accessible language and engagement

People will use open, accessible language and terms, and avoid excluding others from understanding or deliberately obfuscating what they’re saying to hide their meaning. People will try to use clear, uncomplicated language and avoid any acronyms or in-jokes, especially of a sexual nature.


People will be aware that it is difficult for those belonging to marginalized or minority groups to participate in certain discussions. People will not talk over others and will try to gauge whether it is appropriate for them to speak on certain topics.


People will warn others if they are going to discuss something that others might find upsetting, such as mental illness or domestic abuse. You can do this informally by asking ‘is it okay if I talk about this?’

Social Media

All of the above extends outside of the studio to any public or private use on social media or electronic communications.

Artist and client will be respectful of their respective social media accounts and will only reach out or link/tag those accounts in any post, public or private, if permission is explicitly given, whether verbally or as stated on their social media account. 

Communication between artist and client will remain strictly professional unless verbal consent is given to the contrary by both parties.

Please let us know...

Your feedback is very important to us. To inform us about about an experience you have had with our shop, or your artist please let let us know here. All submissions are anonymous unless otherwise specified.


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If you are looking for support or more information about safe spaces, please take a look through our resource guide!



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See our COVID-19

protocols and policies

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Hemlock Tattoo would like to acknowledge our location and role to play within the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes: The Blackfoot Confederacy (comprising the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations), the Tsuut’ina First Nation, the Stoney Nakoda (including the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations), and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III. We want to express our deep gratitude for the people of these nations for caring for the land and all the sacrifices they have made in doing so.

We want to acknowledge our privileged position to be operating on this extremely abundant land and to recognize that ALL people residing here are Treaty 7 people. In the spirit of acknowledging this history we want to conduct ourselves in a way that honours the Seven Teachings of the Blackfoot, Cree, and Ojibwe people. These teachings are comprised of courage, honesty, humility, love, respect, truth and wisdom and they perfectly encompass how we wish to operate and share space in Treaty 7 territory. 

We also want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the indigenous origins and history of tattooing in North America as well as in a wider global context. Our modern western understanding of tattooing barely passes a glance at the deep, symbolic and sacred roots tattooing has in indigenous cultures. As a team we want to participate in changing this via the dissemination of information/education and supporting those who are working to revive and protect the ancestral tattoo techniques, motifs and patterns that colonialism sought to erase.

Thank you to Cheryle Chagnon-Greyeyes for her warmth, wisdom and guidance and to all future educators and experts for sharing their knowledge with us. We want to commit ourselves to continuing to amplify voices and seeking out the expertise of the historical stewards of this land we call home.

-Hemlock Tattoo

©2020 Hemlock Tattoo Studio. Created by the Bread & Butter Club.