EPISODE 12 – BELLA COOLA
Written and directed by Roxann Whitebean
Danika Nacarrella is from the Nuxalk Nation in Bella Coola, B.C. She was officially adopted into the Nation at birth, but she has been making her mark in the community by working with the youth as an educator, visual artist and tattoo artist.
Danika Naccarella is a Northwest Coast artist descending from Nuxalk & Gwa’sala-Nakwaxda’xw ancestry from her mother and father’s side. She first began her art practice in the 7th grade when she moved to her mother’s home community of Bella Coola in 2009.
While attending Acwsalcta School for her high school years she had the opportunity to create and learn Nuxalk art, culture and language. Danika enjoyed painting with acrylic mediums and continued to dedicate her spare time to painting Nuxalk designs drawn by her art teachers. Eventually, her Nuxalk art teachers who encouraged her to start learning how to create her own designs. That began her studies of Northwest Coast art forms, from books to museum research. When the time came to pursue post-secondary education, it was without a doubt that Danika would decide to enroll in the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art, at Northwest Community College in Terrace, BC.
In the summer of 2017 Danika was accepted into the Earthline Tattoo Training Residency, where 6 participants became qualified cultural tattoo practitioners which included design application, cultural safety, and the health aspects of tattooing. Danika learned traditional hand poke and skin stitch tattooing. Culture is very strong in the Bella Coola Valley where the Nuxalk Nation strives on teaching & reviving our traditional ways of life. Danika is now reviving traditional tattooing in the Nuxalk community and ensuring that the culture is being translated in a proper and healthy way to bring strength to indigenous identity.