Native American and Indigenous Peoples Day Symposium: Matika Wilbur

Photographer who works to remedy Native American stereotypes to speak at TCU

naipd 2017 poster

Matika Wilbur, a Swinomish and Tulalip photographer from Seattle, Washington, who is working to photograph citizens from every federally-recognized tribe in the United States, will work with students at the second annual Native American and Indigenous Peoples Day Symposium Oct. 2.

She will give a public presentation titled Changing the Way We See Native America: Dismantling Native American Stereotypes at 7 p.m. Oct. 2, in the Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom. Drum group Comanche Thunder will perform before and after Wilbur’s talk and the group Tribal Traditions Arts & Education will also dance.

Wilbur’s work, called Project 562 (named for the number of federally-recognized tribes when she began her work), addresses and remedies historical inaccuracies, stereotypical representations and the absence of Native American images and voices in mass media and the national consciousness.

Wilbur has gained national and international attention, with her work featured in major media outlets, including the Guardian and The New York Times, as well as appearances at other institutions. Wilbur says, “My work aims to humanize, the otherwise “vanishing race,” and share the stories that our people would like told.”

During the day, students will also consider and evaluate the impact of Native American stereotypes by dialoging with TCU alumni and employees who are Native American. A traditional lodge (teepee) will be erected on the Commons where Carl Kurtz ’14, a TCU employee and member of the Citizen Band Potawatomi Nation, will be on hand to talk about his lodge and tribe’s history and culture.

The symposium is generously funded by Discovering Global Citizenship and sponsored by the Native and Indigenous Student Association.