10 Remarkable Portraits of Native America from Project 562

Matika Wilbur / Sage Romero, Big Pine Paute (detail) photographed by Matika Wilbur for Project 562

Matika Wilbur wants Project 562 to be a photographic documentary of all the federally recognized tribes

With Project 562, photographer Matika Wilbur aims to document every federally recognized tribe in the United States, and in 2014 she secured funding for Phase II of her project (thanks in no small part to a post on the mega-popular website Upworthy).

As she explains at the Project 562 Kickstarter page, which received 3,882 backers pledging more than $213,000, Wilbur hopes the massive undertaking will “serve to educate the nation and shift the collective consciousness toward recognizing our own indigenous communities.” She goes on:

Imagine walking through an exhibit and realizing the complex variety of contemporary Native America. Imagine experiencing a website or book, that offered insight into every Tribal Nation in the United States. What if you could download previously untold histories and stories from Apaches, Swinomish, Hualapai, Northern Cheyenne, Tlingit, Pomo, Lumbee, and other first peoples? What if you had heard those stories in grade school?

About 1,200 backers have pledged money to Project 562 as of this writing; donations range from $1 to $5,000. In return, they’re receiving everything from stickers to a photo session with Wilbur; many of them will be getting reward items from the line of clothing noted Native designer Bethany Yellowtail has created to celebrate the project. You can learn more about all of this at the Kickstarter page or Matika Wilbur’s official site.

Matika Wilbur / Mary Evelyn, Pueblo of Isleta, photographed by Matika Wilbur for Project 562
Matika Wilbur / Joe Tohonnie, White Mountain Apache, photographed by Matika Wilbur for Project 562
Matika Wilbur / Robert and Fannie Mitchell, Dine, photographed by Matika Wilbur for Project 562
Matika Wilbur / Marva Scott, Talowa, photographed by Matika Wilbur for Project 562
Matika Wilbur / Guylish Bommelyn, Talowa, photographed by Matika Wilbur for Project 562
Matika Wilbur / Sage Romero, Big Pine Paute (detail) photographed by Matika Wilbur for Project 562
Matika Wilbur / Jane Blackmen, Pala, photographed by Matika Wilbur for Project 562
Matika Wilbur / Martin Sensmeier, Tlingit and Koyukon-Athabascan, photographed by Matika Wilbur for Project 562
Matika Wilbur / Star Flower Montoya, Digueno and Barona, photographed by Matika Wilbur for Project 562
Matika Wilbur / White Mountain Apache Crown Dancer photographed by Matika Wilbur for Project 562

This story was originally published February 10, 2014 and has been updated.

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