Indigenous Designer Spotlight
This spotlight video is by Indigenous Yukon. You can learn more about First Nations culture by exploring their content on YouTube.
Natasha Peter, owner of Kaska Dena Designs, is from the Kaska Dena lands of Ross River, Yukon. Her grandmothers, Mary and Tootsie Charlie, gave her the name Gwensellia, which means Moose Skin Scrapper, inferring a hard worker. She was raised traditionally by her parents, grandparents, and community, absorbing the knowledge of hunting, harvesting, sewing and beading that was shared by her Elders.
In her own words, “When I create, it is not only about me. It is also about providing a legacy that appreciates and protects the traditions that have defined me and my ancestors. In celebrating my culture, I can pass it down to future generations. When my customers wear my designs, they support me as an independent artist. This means providing for my daughter and myself.”
Her art consists of a mix of traditional and contemporary style. She recently achieved her goal of showcasing her traditional/modern clothing and jewelry to a worldwide audience, having participated in the RISE Fashion Show in Edmonton, International Indigenous Fashion Week in Paris, RISE New York Fashion Week, and New York Indigenous Fashion Week.
Natasha was one of six Indigenous designers selected to attend Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto in June 2022 as part of the Fashion Forward initiative supported by the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association and the Department of Economic Development, Government of Yukon.
Aired February 10, 2023