You are here
Elizabeth was the 9th of Paul and Suzanne Ettagiak's 14 children, and their first to be born in a hospital in Aklavik, NT. Elizabeth's preference of hand-stitching articles is from the traditional methods she learned growing up in Tuktoyaktuk and watching her mother and sisters sew. As a youngster Elizabeth made many of her own toys to play with on the shores of the Beaufort Sea. Elizabeth married Michael Drescher and moved South to attend college. Elizabeth's Bachelor of Administration opened up various jobs, currently she is a Human Resource Officer. From knowledge gained at the Smithsonian Institute she had a lead role in the reproduction of a traditional Inuvialuit Shaman's parka now on display at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa. She led a team that reproduced a traditional men's parka and pants and a woman's parka for the Prince of Whales Museum in Yellowknife. As a teenager Elizabeth was fascinated by an elderly Inuvialuit woman's facial markings and planned to have her own some day, a dream she finally realized in 2008 with a sunburst tattoo. She is now figuring our what traditional designs she wants on her arms. Over the years Elizabeth has experimented with many sewing projects but always returns to her ancestral roots; making useful clothing to keep warm. Elizabeth is well known for her artistic interpretation of the custom used when there was not enough sewing material or a hide had imperfections - integration of various of various pieces of fur and leather to create a finished product. Her mitts, vests, mukluks, jackets, slippers, dress moccassins, and bags are made with the hides and fur of beaver, muskrat, seal, moose, cow, and muskoxen. Many of Elizabeth's pieces incorporate a distinctive red-dyed seal skin or varying shades of sheared beaver pelts. Elizabeth lives in Inuvik, has four grown sons and three grand-children and spends her evenings sewing and teaching others, in both formal and informal settings, the traditional Arctic skills she has refined.