Seeds of Culture: The Portraits and Stories of Native American Women

Exhibition by Photographer Matika Wilbur
Photo by Matika WilburPhoto by Matika Wilbur

This exhibition opens on April 29, 2016, and runs through May 28, 2016. 

It will be on view in the Johnson-Kulukundis Family Gallery of Byerly Hall at 8 Garden Street, Radcliffe Yard, Monday through Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m.

There will be an exhibition Opening Talk and Reception with the artist on April 28 at 5 p.m. 

On April 29, the gallery will be open from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

On April 30, the gallery will be open from noon to 6 p.m.

Free and open to the public.

Matika Wilbur, an acclaimed photographer from the Tulalip and Swinomish tribes (Washington), is the creator and director of Project 562 and the only Native American photographer and social documentarian to be welcomed into each of the 562+ Native American sovereign territories in the United States. For the past three years, Wilbur has collaborated with scores of tribes to share the images and truths of Native American peoples.

Wilbur’s exhibition at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University—Seeds of Culture: The Portraits and Voices of Native American Women—provides remarkable insights into contemporary Native American women. Wilbur has curated the striking photographs from among the thousands of portraits she has taken in recent years. The photographs are accompanied by written narratives and audio of the interviews she conducts as part of her project. Elders, activists, educators, culture-bearers, artists, and students have shared with Wilbur their realities as Native women. They convey how ancestral and contemporary identities shape their lives and hopes in Indian Country.

As Wilbur explains, “We portray the extraordinary lives and stories of Native women throughout North America. I believe the viewers will experience great understanding and connection with these remarkable women, just as they have enlightened and inspired me. Native women are traditionally the stewards of the vital relationship with land, and have remained principal advocates for Mother Earth, from fracking protests to enduring matrilineal values. By exposing the astonishing variety of the Indian presence and reality, we will build cultural bridges, abandon stereotypes, and renew and inspire our national legacy.” 

This exhibition at the Radcliffe Institute is part of the Initiative on Native and Indigenous Peoples and is presented in collaboration with the Harvard University Native American Program.