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Matika Wilbur          

Native American Photographer

Matika Wilbur was raised in the Swinomish Tribal community and is enrolled in the Tulalip Tribe, where she currently lives with her husband and baby. Wilbur integrates fine art and social justice as a long-form photo documentarian, writer, filmmaker, podcaster and public speaker.

She is the founder and photographer of Project 562, a documentary project dedicated to changing the way we see Native America. After earning her BFA from Brooks Institute of Photography, Wilbur began her career in Los Angeles as a fashion and commercial photographer. However, she quickly decided to change course and began using photography as a tool for social justice.

Project 562 is Wilbur’s fourth major endeavor elevating Native American identity and culture. Her first project, "We Are One People" captured portraits of Coast Salish elders. She followed up with her show “We Emerge,” which featured Native people in contemporary urban and traditional settings. Wilbur's third show, “Save the Indian and Kill the Man,”, addressed the forced cultural assimilation of Native Peoples.

Since 2015, Wilbur has offered more than three hundred keynote speeches at institutions such as Harvard, Stanford, Google, the National Education Association, and TED. She is a National Geographic Explorer and recipient of the distinguished Leica Photo Award. She also co-hosts the popular Native issues podcast "All My Relations," which invites guests to explore the connections between land, creatural relatives, and one another. Wilbur's Project 562 book will be published in the Spring of 2023.

Speech Topics

All My Relations: Exploring Indigenous Relationality in the 21st Century

Seeds of Culture: Portraits and Stories of Native American Women

Changing the Way We See Native America

This presentation will providing remarkable insights into contemporary Native American life, driving the conversation forward to encourage U.S. citizens to evolve beyond the appropriation and neglect of indigenous images and traditions through a new model of awareness, with honest photographic representation and direct narratives of America's first people. Wilbur says, "I believe the viewers will experience great understanding and connection with these remarkable people, just as they have enlightened and inspired me. By exposing the astonishing variety of the Indian presence and reality, we will build cultural bridges, abandon stereotypes, and renew and inspire our national legacy.”

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