Native Americans Like Never Seen Before

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It’s so important to tell the Native American story no matter how difficult it is for us to face the bloody foundations of our nation.

Their narrative, however, needs to go beyond ‘the leathered and feathered vanishing race.’ The stories should not just address the tragic hand Native America was dealt centuries ago but also about where and how this distinct community lives today, which is why Project 562 by Native American photographer, Matika Wilbur,is freakin awesome.

Watch Project 562’s Kickstarter video above.

Wilbur’s goal is to photograph members of each and every one of the 566 federally recognized tribes. They may be one people, but there are so many wonderful distinctions among them and an ambitious project like this offers one visual narrative of this rich culture.

Wilbur is a member of the Tulalip Tribe and was raised on the Swinomish Indian Reservation in Washington State.

“How can we be seen as modern successful people if we are continually represented as the leathered and feathered vanishing race,” said Wilbur at a recent Ted Conference.Wilbur

Here is Project 562’s description on Wilbur’s Kickstarter page: -

Last December, I sold everything in my Seattle apartment, packed a few essentials into my war pony, and hit the open road. Since then, I’ve embarked on an epic adventure: Project 562

For the past year, I have been fulfilling the project’s goal of photographing citizens of each federally recognized tribe in the United States (there are now 566). Most of the time, I’ve been invited to geographically remote reservations to take portraits and hear stories from a myriad of tribes, while at other times I've photographed members of the 70 percent of Native Americans living in urban settings. My hope, is that when the project is complete, it will serve to educate the nation and shift the collective consciousness toward recognizing our own indigenous communities.

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