August 14, 1964
Prince Rupert, BC
Valerie's Nisga'a name is Luusityeekws, which means "To Be in Place Of". She is from the House of Ksim Xsaan, in the Frog Clan. She learned design from her father, celebrated artist Norman Tait. Her brother was Isaac Tait, and Norman taught both of his children Nisga'a design from an early age. Valerie was on Norman's carving crew for the Capilano Mall totem poles. Since the late 1980s, she has focused on two-dimensional work: traditional button blankets, custom painted jeans, and applique garments.