Changing Perspectives

Changing Perspectives

I recently watched a TEDxTalk: Changing the way we see Native Americans, presented by Matika Wilbur. This talk was all about representation of Native Americans in the Mainstream Media. We all know that media and Hollywood are laced with stereotypes and generic representations of people, which is why this topic is so intriguing. As I watched Matika talk about her experience and her latest project it hit a chord with me that caused me to rethink what kind of representations I see every day. She did not address large controversies head on, but her message was clear. Native People need proper representation in terms that will allow them to be seen as regular people existing in a modern times.


Matika opened her Ted Talk with a video of a young native girl watching a bunch of mainstream representations or misrepresentations of Native People on a smartphone screen. This is very relevant, as society’s media is so readily accessible that misrepresentations can have detrimental consequences. Most mainstream media does not allow for modern representations to be made they focus on the headdresses, feathers and leather outfits shown throughout Hollywood and boasted as the latest trend.

Project 562

Matika is focused on changing that representation. She is traveling all over the country to photograph modern day natives through Project 562. She is traveling from city to reservations, settlements, and everywhere in between to photograph Native Americans. She showed a few of her photos she recently took of influential Native American people. These included tribal presidents, activists, modern tribal members, royalty, teachers, lawyers, and many other people who accurately portray modern Native American society. This representation is not something normalized in Hollywood or in schools. Most people believe that the Native Americans died out a long time ago, because mainstream media does not have many modern interpretations. This is also brought on by public schools failing to adequately teach about Native Americans past the trail of tears or the Wounded Knee massacre or Hollywood’s continual depictions as stereotypical savages.

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Matika Wilbur Photography – Project 562

Matika has made it her mission to reclaim native identity by photographing and giving Native Americans representation in art and society through her portraits. Focusing on modern Native communities allows for the narrative to be changed though modern representation. Focusing on Native Americans in context to modern day jobs and positive representations dispels stereotypes cast on Native Americans.

Be the Change

Stereotypes were not directly addressed in her presentation, but the detriment of stereotypes is heavy on many minority groups especially Native Americans. Overall I found her talk and presentation enlightening and uplifting. She focused on creating a dialogue to talk about Native Americans today and that conversation is needed in society.

I encourage everyone, Native and non-native alike, to check out this video because it can be a way to bridge divides. Our society is so diverse, but fractured into division and this can be a way to bring society closer.

Changing the way we see Native Americans- Matika Wilbur

Spandex for Jingle Dress Dancers

Spandex for Jingle Dress Dancers

I travel near and far to many powwows from the west coast to the east coast of the United States. Whether I am dancing around the Salt Lake Valley to surrounding local Native Communities or to other tribal communities across the U.S., competing in the Jingle Dress style category is a fierce and beautiful cultural sport.

Powwows can take place indoors or outdoors, in gyms, arenas, or arbors, and can can last anywhere from one to four days. This means dressing in comfortable sports wear under my dresses is a MUST!

In my opinion, spandex, sports bras, and tank tops are what every jingle dress dancer should be wearing under their dresses. Throughout the years I have learned that the two competing Spandex for me are made by Nike and Under Armour. I have gone back and forth between these two brands and have seen benefits and flaws on both sides.

 Nike – $35

Nike Pro Women’s Training 7″ Shorts


  • Provides supportive comfort with their stretchy waist and tight fit
  • Dri-FIT® fabric helps keep you dry and comfortable
  • Side seams trace your natural shape for optimal movement


The only negatives I’ve experienced with these shorts are that they become slightly see-through after multiple uses and the shorts stretch out after multiple uses; I recommend going with a size smaller than your actual size for maximum comfort.

Under Armour – $27.99

Under Armour Women’s Authentic 7″ Compression Shorts


  • Increases muscle power and decreases recovery time with compression fit
  • Moisture Transport System wicks sweat away to keep you cool, and dry
  • Wide, yoga-inspired waistband with hidden pocket for small item storage
  • Stretchy material and seamless front delivers superior comfort


The only negatives I’ve experienced with these shorts are that they wear after a few uses with lint and the fabric sometimes snags on sequined fabrics.

Where to Buy

Both of these shorts can be purchased in Nike or Under Armour retail/outlet stores, online, or in stores like, Dick’s Sporting Goods.

If you are a jingle dress dancer, please try one of these two great spandex and let me know which one you like better!

Business of the game

Business of the game

As I write my first blog I think, “What game has had the most influence in my life?” of course it is the game of golf. Growing up learning to golf has been one of the greatest challenges and rewards of my life. It has helped shape me into the young business driven, Native American woman I am today.

One games etiquette’s are able to form many quality characteristics into men and women alike, that I believe can and do create success in the business world.

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Cheyenne Woods, professional golfer on the LPGA Tour.

Being a professional golfer is like being a business manager. The business world is filled with many opportunities and challenges, much like you’d see on a golf course. An executive should approach business like a professional golfer would approach the next big PGA or LPGA Tour/Open.


Practice makes perfect in all aspects of life. To be prepared and feel confident in the decisions you are making you should analyze your swing and your mentality. This can be compared to things such as: assessing your habits, your attitude, your learning, and honing of skill through higher education, professional and social experiences.

During my senior year in high school I took a sports psychology class. I was also captain of the women’s golf team and had been ranking high in all-state, for my fourth consecutive year. This class helped me realize and learn one of the most important factors of success, visualization.

Whether it is in golf or in business, visualization is a key factor in success. When you can envision the coming next few minutes, your next shot, or the future you want for your self, you will be more likely to succeed. A few other factors of success are:

  • Confidence
  • Decisiveness
  • Precision/Aim
  • Patience
  • Integrity/Honesty

On the Tour

Although you have your caddie and coaches, compiling data and giving you information, like your support staff and Board members; you are the one calling the shots. You have the tough decisions to make, the choice to choose what club is going to be best for the play at hand. Executives must try to make the best decision they can from any situation they find themselves and their companies in.

“Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from bad shots; you get good breaks from bad shots – but you have to play the ball where it lies.”

– Bobby Jones

This brings me to an important ideal in golf, that is to be sure you play the game with the integrity it was designed. This ideal should be just as valid in the business world. If you are to live with integrity and honesty, others will see the characteristics of the great leader you truly are.

Putt to Win

As you come to the end of each hole, each decision, your greater character defines the business you are. Best stated by professional golfer Ben Hogan, “The most important shot is the next one”.

People who are able to remain calm under pressure, never lose their temper and think strategically are rewarded by the game; these are all virtues in business too. With vision and precision you will succeed.

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Michelle Wie after she won her first golf major championship at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open

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