Annual Perspectives on Contemporary Native Issues Symposium

Perspectives on Native Representations

February 20, 2015
Anna Head Alumnae Hall
University of California, Berkeley

Perspectives on Native American Representation 2015

While the history between Native peoples and representations of identity projected upon them (having been replicated and reinforced in popular culture) is layered and complex, the rise of technology and social media has ushered in an era of accessible activism that pushes against this history. Native peoples across the world now have practicable, highly visible modes to express unique voices that challenge and redefine how Natives are represented both internal and external of their communities. Perspectives on Native Representations seeks to highlight the multiple contexts through which representations of Native communities, culture and individuals are being shifted and reimagined.

Keynote speakers:

Dr. Adrienne Keene "Native Appropriations: representations, pop culture, and cultural resistance in cyber space"

Matika Wilbur "Changing The Way We See Native America"

Migizi Pensoneau "Bullets in the Front, Arrows in the Back: A Look at Humor and Imagery in Indigenous Media."

Please register to attend the symposium - we are asking a nominal fee of $5 to offset costs. Should you need special considerations, please contact us.

To see the symposium schedule, click here!

To read our presenters' abstracts, click here!

Click here for the Call for proposals to see what framed presentation ideas.

For hotel information, click here! 

For travel information, click here! 


Dr. Adrienne Keene is 2014 EdD graduate in Culture, Communities and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and is now a postdoctoral fellow in Native American studies at Brown University, affiliated with the department of Anthropology and the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA). 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. For the past ten years, she has worked closely with a non-profit called College Horizons, which assists Native students in the college application process--as a participant, alumna, faculty member, and now researcher. 

As a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Adrienne has a deep personal commitment to exploring research methodologies that empower Native communities and privilege Native voices and perspectives, with the ultimate goal of increasing educational outcomes for Native students. She is also dedicated to pushing back against stereotypes and misrepresentations of Native peoples on her blog, Native Appropriations (, which has received national and international attention as a voice on contemporary Indigenous issues. 

Matika Wilbur, one of the Pacific Northwest's leading photographers, has exhibited extensively in regional, national, and international venues such as the Seattle Art Museum, the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, The Tacoma Art Museum, the Royal British Columbia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Nantes Museum of Fine Arts in France. She studied photography at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Montana and received a bachelor's degree from Brooks Institute of Photography in California. Her work led up to her becoming a certified teacher at Tulalip Heritage High School, providing inspiration for the youth of her own indigenous community.

Matika, a Native American woman of the Swinomish and Tulalip Tribes (Washington), is unique as an artist and social documentarian in Indian Country- the insight, depth, and passion with which she explores the contemporary Native identity and experience are communicated through the impeccable artistry of each of her silver gelating photographs.

Currently, she is working on Project 562: a multi-year national documentary project dedicated to photographing 562 Federally Recognized Tribes in The United States through exquisite photography and oral history narratives; an effort to move beyond the 18th century stereotypical image of Native Americans toward an updated, authentic and renewed perspective.

Migizi Pensoneau Migizi Pensoneau (Ponca/Ojibwe) was born and raised in Minnesota. He attended the Native American Preparatory School in Rowe, NM and Wesleyan University. Migizi has worked for several Hollywood studios and independent companies as a contract writer and a producer for film and television. He is the recipient of awards, fellowships and grants from ABC/Disney, The Institute of American Indian Arts and the Sundance Institute, among others. His work as a member of the 1491s takes him around the country, working with a variety of communities and tribal youth. He lives in Missoula, Montana, and soon hopes to acquire the requisite puppy and Subaru (beard deficiency notwithstanding).





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