Matika Wilbur, Self-Portrait. Silver gelatin fiber and hand-colored with oil paints. Photograph by Matika Wilbur. Used by permission of the artist. All rights reserved.
Nearly 10 years ago, artist Matika Wilbur sold everything in her Seattle apartment and hit the road in an RV she calls Big Girl. She was on a mission to photograph members of the 500-plus sovereign, or self-governing, Native American nations in the United States. Through Project 562—named after the number of federally recognized Native nations when she started—Wilbur hopes to change the way many people see Native Americans, challenging what she calls the “feathered and leathered” stereotypes in popular culture.
Nearly 10 years ago, artist Matika Wilbur sold many of her belongings. She left her apartment in Seattle and hit the road in an RV she calls Big Girl. She had a plan to photograph people of every sovereign (self-governing) Native American nation in the United States. When she started, there were 562 federally recognized Native nations. She called her idea Project 562. One of Wilbur’s goals is to change the way many people see Native Americans. She challenges popular, incorrect ideas about Native people.