Natasha Peter’s fashion designs embody her Kaska traditions


Fashion designer Natasha Peter sews stunning clothing and jewelry to share with her community and on the world stage. Descended from a long line of Kaska sewers, her grandparents passed along their skills to her at a young age. She took hold of these skills in her mid-twenties when she was facing a dark point in her life, and found healing by connecting with her traditions. Her early designs led to custom orders from across Canada, gaining organic traction and acclaim.

Raised on Kaska Lands of Ross River, a rural Yukon community of about 300 people, and based in Whitehorse, Natasha thrives on challenges, and is passionate about encouraging the next generation to find strength in their traditions to overcome hurdles. When her daughter was born, Natasha realized her business would be a gateway to instilling the beauty of Kaska culture into her life, and to share the joy of blending traditional and modern fashion with the next generation. 

After her early designs gained acclaim across Canada, she committed to sharing her culture and traditions with the world. Building on this initial growth, Natasha joined IncubateNorth–the first business incubator north of 60–with the goal to “have the world to know who Kaska people are. I wanted the world to see my work and I wanted to sell my creation. During the program I was able to travel to New York, Paris, Milan and Cannes where I met with a wide range of audiences.”

Kaska Dena Designs in NYC

Natasha shared, “for the longest time Indigenous people have been shut out. We had our languages, our culture forcefully taken away. And now, a lot of our First Nations around Canada and even the U.S. are starting to take their traditions back. I'm just a little portion of it and showing the world that sewing and sticking to your traditional roots of how our ancestors lived back in the day is important.”

Designs like her granny hanky jean jacket are fan favourites that bring joy to customers who connect with the timeless design that also gives Natasha a feeling of connection to her own grandparents. Natasha hopes people will find a sense of pride to wear a unique First Nation design, and connect with the meaning sewn into each item.

Natasha Peter with her daughter

At every step of Natasha’s global journey, there has been a team of peers and staff at IncubateNorth cheering her on. From a young age she loved watching movie stars on the red carpet, and dreamt that one day she would walk among them. Natasha has met her dreams with tenacity and grace, and reflected, “I've successfully reached all of my goals since starting IncubateNorth.”

Photos: Natasha Peter

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