Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country
Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country

A few weeks ago, Project 562 journeyed to The Great Basin Desert to learn a few major lessons from the Numu people.We learned to see resilience in the desert; desert flowers and medicines are able to flourish, even in the harshest of environments.Despite the greatest odds, our people have the strength to endure.One person, one love story, one song at a time, our communities can heal, flourish and grow.As the journey continues, we continue to meet inspired carriers of Native culture and identity; and that is who we met in Lovelock Paiute- Patty, Birdman, Helen and a treasure trove of adorable singing Paiute kiddos.Patty and Birdman are the kind of people that greet you in the driveway. They ...

Our Wounds Can Heal
Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country

I often hear that on the Rez we need to create healing systems to recover from generations of displacement, oppression, and suffering.  We also need systems to withstand ongoing cycles of assault and degradation of all forms. This healing force, this light that disrupts abuse, even historical trauma itself, can enter us through the hugs and nurturing, guidance and protection of healthy, loving parents.  I encountered this undeniable power of family while meeting Miss Autumn and her parents, Norm and Bev Harry at the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. Norm was the Tribal Chairman for several years.During his time as Chairman, he led his Paiute people in the negotiation for the ...

Exhibition Honoring Native Women Opening at Harvard
Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country

I am incredibly excited to announce that I will be opening a new Project 562 exhibtion on my birthday this month, at Harvard University, and I’d love for you to celebrate with me! Thursday, April 28, 2016, at 5 PMKnafel Center, 10 Garden StreetRadcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard UniversityCambridge, MA At the opening, I’ll give remarks, and a gathering will follow in the exhibition space with the Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP), Radcliffe fellows, Harvard faculty and staff, and members of the arts community at Harvard and beyond.RSVP: or 617-384-6742 Here’s from the press about the ...

Our Students Deserve A Better Narrative
Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country

 A few weeks ago I was invited into my longtime friend Miss. Ervanna Little-Eagle’s classroom to present Project 562's message with the delightful Native students of The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Their beautiful smiling faces and extraordinary enthusiasm for Project 562 shook my soul and stretched my heart strings to new lengths. They actually made me feel like a photography rockstar… they had consumed all of Project 562's blog posts, photos, and films and they literally jumped up and down with glee when I walked into their classroom. It was adorable. They also reminded me why this work is sooooooo important, inspiring refreshed insights and realizations...I've ...

A Friendly & Wordy Project 562 Catch-Up
Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country

I write to you from my window seat 35k feet above land aboard Alaska Airlines flight 355. I don't know why, but it's always easier to write to you from these seats.I'm heading to the Oakland airport, where I'll catch the Bart to UC Berkeley. Tomorrow morning I'll connect with students and encourage the paradigm shift we so desperately need. I'll discuss native identity with them, I'll share about my adventures and setbacks, and I'll encourage them to be brave, and maybe, hopefully, be inspired. That's the goal of tomorrow morning’s presentation. As of late, there have been so many presentations.  I gave a keynote at the National Indian Education Association, at a highly secretive ...

Reconsider Columbus. Honor Indigenous People's Day
Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country

Our words carry medicine.  We use our words to pray for our children.  We use our words to heal.  We use our words to uplift and inspire. Our words, though, can carry poison as well.  Observing a holiday in honor of Christopher Columbus perpetuates and exploits ignorance. It hurts Native Americans by reinforcing our absence from our national consciousness and celebrating our genocide and it hurts non-Native’s by reinforcing the arrival of a European as a more impressive story than the indigenous story of survival, stewardship and sovereignty. We know that the “Columbus consciousness” has left a deep impression on us because we did a brief survey ...

NEW EXHIBITION: Natural Wanderment: Stewardship. Sovereignty. Sacredness.
Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country

Please join us Friday, October 23, at 7pm at The Hibulb Cultural Center in Tulalip for a special opening celebration! There will be yummy food, traditional songs, and beautiful presentations from special guest speakers. Come celebrate Project 562's newest collection: "Natural Wanderment: Stewardship - Sovereignty - Sacredness", a collection of Project 562 portraits showcasing stories that honor the mother earth and protect ancestral ways of life.  Please RSVP, as space is limited.Peace and love,MatikaTulalip, Washington – The Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve is proud to present Matika Wilbur’s newest Project 562 collection: ...

Beyond Vacationland: the Native American Cape Cod Story
Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country

Driving just a few hours south and east of Boston, the Project 562 war pony reached the storied shores of Cape Cod, the region of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, iconic in the American scene as an immensely beautiful, exclusive oceanic outpost of the rich and powerful. But the Cape, as it is known, is another place entirely when viewed through the lens of the history and reality of Turtle Island (the Native way of referencing North America). This stunning seaside expanse of elegant private estates comprises the ancestral lands of the Wampanoag people and this tribe is considered a “first contact nation” with whites in North America.   Tribal tribal ...

The Big O...
Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country

Project 562 was featured in Oprah Magazine! We can’t tell you the joy and pride we felt to flip open the August issue of Oprah magazine see these beautiful photos looking back at us—and to think of the thousands and thousands of people that would be able to see our friends Jessica, Juanita, Josh, and more gracing the pages of the magazine gave us chills. We wanted to share with you the article that accompanied the photos, and provide more in-depth stories about each of the participants pictured in the magazine. Here is a photo of the layout in the magazine (the full article with photos can also be viewed online):  The text reads: Google "Asian ...

Project 562's Summer Update: Crisis and Faith in The Shimmering Waters
Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country

Hello!So much has happened since my last report in January. The Project 562 "war pony" (actually a nimble and parkable Volkswagen Rialta RV: think of it as the ultimate rolling dorm room) has plied the wide lanes and byways of Interstate 10 across the southern U.S., welcomed into remarkable tribal communities such as The Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo in Texas, the Houma in Louisiana, and the Miccosukee and Seminole Tribes of Florida. I've gone on to head up the Atlantic seaboard, with amazing stops with the Choctaw and Eastern Band of Cherokee in North Carolina, and am currently in the Northeast preparing for an extensive trip to Tribal communities throughout New England and Canada. I want to ...

Existence and Resistance: The Trek of the Navajo Walkers Against Fracking
Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country

On January 16th, way out in a small town in called Cuba, we waited in a McDonalds parking lot for the Navajo Walkers. I’d read a little about the Walkers, but, like most of Project 562, I had no idea what to expect. As we sat idle in the fast food parking lot I was amused by the surprising hustle and bustle of this far out place: french fries and turquoise earrings for sale; ranchers, beggars and big haired Navajo debutants- all crowding in for a Big Mac. I think to myself, “What a conundrum of a place, it’s so sad and greasy in the heart of one of the largest, culture rich reservations in the United States.” Each face that enters is either Navajo (or maybe Pueblo), but the Biligana, or ...

Upcoming Adventures in 2015!
Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country

Hello Lovely!Project 562 is starting off 2015 with a bang! Currently, Project 562 is visiting Pueblos in New Mexico, and once completed, we will be making our way back towards the East Coast. This is our upcoming project route:The Pueblos that remain to be photographed are Sandia, Zia, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, Santo Domingo, Pojoaque, Nambe, Tesuque and Picuris. If you have any suggestions for us, we welcome your input, please email with details. Make Movies With Us! We are incredibly excited to tell you about our new Project 562 film series and invite you to be apart of it. We are seeking 12 filmmakers to join Matika on ...

Seven Christmas Gifts I Cannot Live Without (Of Course They're Native)
Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country

 1. B. Yellowtail's Apsaalooke Nights Sequin DressSparkle is essential for every party this holiday season. It goes on sale on December 16th (B.Yellowtail's Birthday); like her facebook page to get a special invite to her release party 2. Anything Beyond BucksckinBeyond Buckskin is my one stop shop for everything fabulous this year. The mission of the Beyond Buckskin Boutique is "to create a substantial movement of Native American representation in the fashion industry and to bring greater recognition to Native-made fashion. We are creating a much-needed platform where emerging and established artists can bring their work ...

5 Positive Representations of Native Americans
Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country

As promised, I will be posting an image a day (on my facebook page) for Native American Heritage Month, an effort to reshape the way our collective consciousness imagines Native Americans. Here are five positive representations for you to consider...  “I do not drink. I do not do drugs. It’s part of my way of life I guess. My own personal beliefs. I’ve seen the affects of drugs and alcohol on my own reservation. Surrounding me in my community. And I just don’t want to live life like that. I guess I tried it out when I was in high school, but nothing good ever came from that. With the help and guidance of my parents and family, I came to my own realization ...

4 Days of Imagery
Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country

"The hopes and dreams for my family and other families here is to someday have a community that is following the traditional values of the Grosvantre and Assiniboine nations. Especially our family code that drives on customary traditional values of the tribes so that we can have wellness within our community. If you have a healthy mind, you need to have a healthy physical lifestyle as well."-Tracy “Ching” King, President of Fort Belknap “Every word we speak; every song we sing; the songs which we subject ourselves to, whether in the womb, or as an elder, these songs affect us in very powerful and meaning ways. They can actually help to destroy us or they can help to ...

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month
Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country

 Dear Project 562 Friends,Today marks the beginning of Native American Heritage Month, as well as the anniversary mark of my third year and over 120,000 on the road.  I am honored to announce that for each day in the month of November, Project 562 will be sharing and celebrating some of the collected portrait narratives from the last two years on the road. This celebration of images and words places native stories in an intentional and positive space - one that affirms and honors our narratives and welcomes a re-visioning of our communities.We would like to invite you to engage with these stories by subscribing to the Project 562 blog, or by following us on facebook ...

Duncan Family Hoop Dancers
Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country

 Talon and Sky Duncan, photographed in Phoenix Arizona. Talon and Sky are Apache, Arikara, Mandan and Hidatsa world champion hoop dancers. Check out our recently released Project 562 Road Story featuring Sky and Talon:   I loved having the opportunity to meet the Duncan family. I have so much respect for their  commitment to preserving culture through family dance.

Project 562 Visits Quechan
Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country

On January 18th 2014, Project 562 joined Quechan leaders and elders in prayerful opposition to the Ocotillo Wind Express Facility, responsible for the desecration of Ocotillo's Sacred Desert. We made a video about it, have a look:  Vernon Smith, Quechan Tribal Member Ila May Dunsweiler, Quechan Language Instructor Preston Arroweed, Quechan/Kumni Tribal Member

Here We Come Big Apple!
Finding Light & Hope in Paiute Country

MATIKA will be a TED TALKER in New York CityI will be offering an TEDx talk in NYC dedicated to the topic, "Agents of Change" on Friday, March 28, 2014 sometime between 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (EDT), New York, NY. (I'll let you know when I know a time.) To learn more, please visit:!2014/c1i1sThe best part is that the tickets are free! Hooray! You can get them here: we are visiting New York, we would like reach out to the local tribal communities and do some Project 562 photo-shooting. Here is the list of tribes ...

Final Hours of Kickstarter

Project 562 is currently accepting donations on Kickstarter until February 20 at 10PM (PST) here: you so much for all of your support!