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Indigenous Peoples’ Day

by Grace Bonney

Today is Indigenous Peoples’ Day and in addition to sharing resources (below) about better understanding and supporting indigenous communities, I wanted to share one of my favorite photos taken by photographer Matika Wilbur. In 2012 Matika Wilbur sold everything in her apartment and hit the road to create Project 562 , a photography series with the goal of developing, “a body of imagery and cultural representations of Native Peoples to counteract the relentlessly insipid, one-dimensional stereotypes circulating in mainstream media, historical textbooks and the culture industry”. In addition to this goal, Matika wanted to highlight and celebrate the next generation of positive indigenous role models and has traveled across the country (and continues to travel) to take portraits and speak about the importance of discussing (and changing) the way we see Native Americans.

Matika took this photo (above) of Miss Indian Nations 20, Shannon Hooper (Paiute Shoshone from Fallon, Nevada) and shared a wonderful interview with her about the significance of dance and ceremony, specially the fancy shawl dance for pow wow. Matika has shared stories like this on her blog for years now and today felt like a great time to revisit them.

If you’d like to learn more about indigenous people, here are some ways to learn, support and get involved:

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Comments

  • I’ve never commented here before, but I was just so pleased to see this post give such authentic, respectful suggestions for how to celebrate this day. Learning more about the land we inhabit and the traditional people who were likely displaced so that our communities could exist is so important and pushes back on the erasure of these experiences. Thanks so much for sharing this on your platform.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this, Grace! Matika’s work is awesome and important: just the right thing to share with my highschoolers today, and follow myself in the future.

  • I can’t believe I didn’t see this post earlier! I respect Design Sponge so much–your openness about and awareness of cultural issues is why I keep returning to this beautiful blog (oh, and its impeccable home tour and design stories!!) I want to also recommend Beyond Buckskin: http://www.beyondbuckskin.com/. The company promotes and sells the work of Native American fashion designers!

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