Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, Martine Lomen was born on March 16th, 1933, in the Mackenzie Mountains past Fisherman's Lake 18 kilometers from Fort Liard. Her biological parents were Christina Dudan and Alexi Lomen.
In 1947, she was married to Fredrick Kotchea through an arranged marriage.
On October 13th, 1948, both of them had their first child, John Kotchea. The stories she told that she was pregnant and was due anytime and wanted to be at Fisherman's Lake with her parents when she would have her first child. However, during their travel, she went into labour on the way there, and just when -- it was just Fred with her. She gave birth to John. After the delivery, she told Fred she and the baby were okay. So they continued their travels to her parents' camp.
Both of them went on to have eight sons and four daughters. At the age of 15, she was a young wife and a mother and learned her craft skills with traditional moose hide making.
She said her mother had asked her to start fleshing a moose hide since she has injured her arm. That is when she realized that she was very strong, and fixing a moose hide was no problem for her.
She went on to develop her skills and passions for the moose hide making. When shares her stories, she said with a smile, I never go without flusher and scrapers.
She was known for her skills in crafting moose hide moccasins. Fort Liard is well-known for its traditional birch bark berry baskets. She and her late sister, Sarah Edda, contributed to reviving and redesigning the traditional ways of the birch bark berry baskets. Together they developed a new way of crafting birch bark baskets, such as a general sanding the bark and adding colored -- colorful dyes, porcupine quills. And as saying goes, the rest is history.
She was passionate and created her birch bark baskets with colorful quilled flowers and birds, and harvest the material from the land.
Many people are thankful and grateful for her traditional crafting as she usually passed on her skills and knowledge. She was well-informed, a stern teacher to her daughters, daughters-in-law, and great -- and grand-daughters.
On February 11th, 2021, she passed away.
Martine and Fred had raised a large family with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and they will be forever missed and loved.
Mr. Speaker, as her son Steve said it best, Her legacy is with us, and her shoes will never be filled. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.