Nikotai was born in 1936. Her name is also sometimes spelled Nikotye. She is the daughter of the late well-known artist Tudlik, and sister of the well-known sculptor Latcholassie. Nikotye moved from Cape Dorset, Nunavut, Canada to Moose Factory, Ontario, Canada in the late 1960s. She was being treated for tuberculosis. While there, she met and married a retired Canadian military officer, and they lived on a small farm near Moose Factory.
Nikotye moved back to Cape Dorset while in her mid-fifties. Her favorite themes are owls and loons; she incorporates these into both drawings and applique wall hangings.