WHO WE ARE
All My Relations is a team of folks who care about representations, and how Native peoples are represented in mainstream media. Between us we have decades of experience working in and with Native communities, and writing and speaking about issues of representation. You can meet our full team here.
Matika Wilbur, a visual storyteller from the Swinomish and Tulalip peoples of coastal Washington, for the past five years has been traveling and photographing Indian Country in pursuit of one goal: To Change the Way We See Native America.
Matika began her career in fashion and commercial work in Los Angeles after completing the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography. Though in high demand professionally, Matika realized that she wanted a different path as a photographer: to create portrait art that deeply communicated people’s lives and experiences. She was especially drawn to remarkable personalities from the nation’s indigenous communities, who typically in massive media and the popular consciousness have been grossly neglected or stereotyped.
Matika chose to devote herself to photography as a creator and messenger, soon producing multiple acclaimed exhibitions in leading museums and other venues of her striking portraits of Pacific Northwest and other Native peoples. She also began offering Native youth of her own community training and inspiration to explore and create visual art as a certified k-12 teacher; but she found that the representation of First Peoples in traditional curricula and the media as "leathered and feathered", dying races undermined her students’ sense of identity and potential. Thus began Project 562’s mission to photograph and collect stories of Native Americans from each federally-recognized Native American Tribe in the United States to create comprehensive visual curricula and publications representing contemporary Native America.
Matika has in this endeavor visited members of over 400 sovereign nations throughout 40 states, from Tlingits in Alaska to the Pima in Arizona, Pomos in California to Wampanoags on Cape Cod. Through her lens, we are able to see the diversity, vibrancy and realness of Indian Country, and in seeing, challenge and surpass stereotypical representations and refresh the national conversation about contemporary Native America.
Adrienne Keene is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and is passionate about reframing how the world sees contemporary Native cultures. She is the creator and author of Native Appropriations, a blog discussing cultural appropriation and stereotypes of Native peoples in fashion, film, music, and other forms of pop culture, and a faculty member in American Studies and Ethnic Studies at Brown University.
Through her writing and activism, Keene questions and problematizes the ways Indigenous peoples are represented, asking for celebrities, large corporations, and designers to consider the ways they incorporate "Native" elements into their work. She is very interested in the way Native peoples are using social and new media to challenge misrepresentations and present counter-narratives that showcase true Native cultures and identities.
Adrienne holds a doctorate in Culture, Communities, and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on college access for Native (American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian) students and the role of precollege access programs in student success. She is currently working on a book about Native students in the college process, documenting the work of College Horizons, an incredible precollege program for Native students.