Alizette Lockhart

North Slave

Artist Story

Over the years, I tried to watch everything my mother did. That’s how I learned. In the summertime, she would make a lot of dry fish and share it with the community. She would use the whole fish except the fish scales. She told me that it was a shame to throw those away. Over the years, I learned to wash the scales to use them to make art. I learned that washing the scales many times was the best way. Then, I learned to use natural dyes from cranberries, blueberries, tea or coffee to make my own coloured fish scales. Later, I started using food colouring too.

I start by harvesting my fish scales. I wash them a number of times, and I air them out for weeks. Once they are clear and dry, it’s time to dye them with the food colouring. It’s very relaxing. If I worry about something, my mind relaxes when I work on my art. I really love that. Making art keeps me at peace and, because of that, it keeps me going.

When we make clothing, like when we are making dry fish, we don’t throw any part of the animal away. We use the bones to make needles and tools. I like that we respect the animals enough to not throw anything away. I used to live on the land, with a happy feeling. I am inspired by the land and the animals that live on these territories. I like to feel the fresh air. Even as I get older, I go out on the land any chance I get. When you’re old, you can watch. I love it!

Artist Bio: 

Alizette was born in Dettah, she grew up watching her mother and granny making traditional clothing to give to family members. Though she started practing this tradition when she was young, she started taking it seriously and making it it a part of her every day lifestarting in 2015.

Today Alizette lives in Lutsel K'e where she makes slippers, gloves, card holders, quil earrings, and fish scale art, among other things. 

Note: If you are looking to contact Alizette, pelase keep in mind that she is very hard of hearing, so if she does not answer the phone, try a couple of more times. When she does answer the phone it is very helpful if you speak loudly and clearly. Your patience is appreciated.

Last Updated: March 13, 2023

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