“You Don’t Look Native to Me”

Since the autumn of 2011 photographer Maria Sturm has been visiting the Native American communities of North Carolina and in particular the town of Pembroke in Robeson County, the tribal seat of the Lumbee Indian Tribe, where 89% of the population describe themselves as Native Americans.

Sturm’s specific interest is to document the everyday lives of the younger members of the Lumbee tribe and a reawakened pride in their shared identity as Native American Indians. Through a combination of portraits, landscapes, architecture and still lives Sturm uncovers her subjects’ search for who they are, as they explore their individual and collective relationship to their hometown, aesthetic display of tribal affiliation and their youthful obsession of seeking to define themselves in their own terms.