LEWISTON, Idaho – Visual storyteller Matika Wilbur, who has been traveling the United States for more than five years to photograph and collect stories of Native Americans from every federally-recognized Indian tribe, will be the keynote speaker during Lewis-Clark State College’s Multicultural Week on Sept. 17-20.
Wilbur will speak on “Changing the Way We See Native America” on Sept. 18 at 6:30-8 p.m. at the LCSC Silverthorne Theatre. Her talk will feature pictures and stories from Project 562, which is her fourth major project to document contemporary Indigenous people. Her presentation is free and open to the public, as are all events during the week,.
Wilbur will also hold a discussion on “Indigenous Genesis, Truth, and Cultural Resistance” on Sept. 19 at 1:30-2:45 p.m. in Room 100 of Meriwether-Lewis Hall. Her two presentations are among seven activities planned at LCSC that week.
Wilbur is a member of the Swinomish and Tulalip tribes in Washington and grew up in La Conner, Wash., located about 70 miles north of Seattle. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the Brooks Institute of Photography in 2006, and began work as a photographer doing fashion and commercial work in Los Angeles. She decided she wanted to focus on photography that communicated people’s lives and experiences, especially from the indigenous communities. She moved back home and her work began to appear in museums and other venues across the U.S. She also began teaching at Tulalip Heritage High School, where she spent five years. It was there she became discouraged by the curriculum being taught native youths concerning the lack of positive imagery and understanding. That started her on Project 562.
Since November of 2012, Wilbur has set out on her journey to photograph the more than 550 federally recognized tribes. She has visited members from more than 300 tribes in 40 states thus far, and will show some of those photos during her presentation on Sept. 18.
Multicultural Week at LCSC kicks off on Sept. 17 with an information fair in front of the LCSC Student Union Building at noon to 1:30 p.m. The fair will feature cultural activities organized by LCSC’s International Programs office, student clubs, and community organizations.
That night, the Social Sciences Division will sponsor LCSC’s Constitution Day at 6-7:30 p.m. in Room 115 of Sacajawea Hall. The event features panel and audience discussion on Native American governments and their relations with federal and state governments.
On Sept. 18, the Native American Friendship Lunch will be held at 11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m. at the LCSC Pi’amkinwaas, located at 1112 7th St. in Lewiston. The lunch will feature Native American cuisine and the opportunity to learn about Pi’amkinwaas.
Along with Wilbur’s discussion on Sept. 19, there will be an International Food & Cultural Night Potluck at 6-7 p.m. in the Williams Conference Center. International students and others will prepare dishes from around the world for people to sample. Anyone attending is encouraged to bring an item for the potluck and it does not have to be an international dish.
The week wraps up with the Discover Culture Series, which is set for Sept. 20 at 10:30-11:45 a.m. in the Williams Conference Center. LCSC international students will discuss their countries of origin.
LCSC’s Multicultural Week is sponsored by the LCSC Anthropology Club, Humanities Division, International Programs, Diversity Speaker Series, Native American, Minority & Veterans’ Services, Native American Club, President’s Diversity Commission, Residence Life, Social Science Division, Center for Teaching and Learning, and Spanish Club, along with Colleen Mahoney.
For more information on the week, contact Kerensa Allison, associate professor of anthropology at LCSC, at either [email protected] or 208-792-2348.