“It was hurtful,” said Sara Carriere-Burns on being told by staff at the Prince Albert Brewing Company to either cover-up her facial tattoo or leave the restaurant. She was there last weekend, enjoying a diet-coke when she was approached by staff. Knowing that something may take place, Carriere-Burns asked her niece to record the conversation.

An unidentified man explained the dress-code stating no facial tattoos were allowed. She pressed the issue saying the tattoo is culturally significant to her. The man replied that he did not care about her culture and that she could either put make-up over the tattoo or leave.

“It was disheartening. I kind of knew at that point there would be no healthy communication,” Carriere-Burns explained.

There is a notice expressing that “Individuals with tattoo’s from ear to ear, wrapped around the neck, racially offensive/and or gang-related will not be allowed on PABCO premises.” The policy offered neck cover for patrons who wished to stay. However, Carriere-Burns’ tattoo is very small located under her bottom lip.

Carriere-Burns said she was at the restaurant a few times in the past several months, for wings and music entertainment, without incident. The video of her conversation has since been posted to Facebook.

She describes her tattoo as culturally significant, as part of her identity. “My tattoo signifies my children. The two outer lines are the two babies I lost during pregnancy. The two inner lines are by two biological daughters. I have dots going down the center to represent my children that aren’t my children biologically,” Carriere-Burns said.

Even though, she said she felt discriminated against, she still wants to have a conversation with management about cultural sensitivity. Carriere-Burns said she has been researching whether her experience is a Human Rights violation, but has not decided next steps. The Prince Albert Brewing Company is not commenting on the incident.

(Photo courtesy of Facebook.)