This month, Boston Mayor Kim Janey encouraged “the city of Boston to observe Indigenous Peoples Day in lieu of Columbus Day by reflecting upon the dispossession of the homeland of the Massachusett Tribe” this year on Monday, October 11th.
With this order, Boston joins over two dozen communities in Massachusetts, and a handful of states, that will celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day in lieu of Columbus Day. Here are some of the ways that you can learn more about and celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day in the Greater Boston area.
Click here for a full list of 2021 Indigenous Peoples Day Events in MA.
Featured Indigenous Peoples Day Celebrations and Events in Greater Boston
Boston Marches For Indigenous Peoples Day
October 9th @ 11:30am | Boston Common
Rally and March for Indigenous Peoples Day in Boston!
Hosted by IndigenousPeoplesDayMA, UAINE (United American Indians of New England), NAICOB (North American Indian Center of Boston), & Cultural Survival.
Peabody Essex Museum Indigenous Peoples Day Virtual Celebration
October 11, 10 am-9 pm | Virtual
Activities include corn husk doll making with Dawn Spears (Narragansett) and a screening of Dawnland and Dear Georgina followed by a discussion via live-stream with Maine Truth & Reconciliation Commissioner gkisedtanamoogk (Mashpee Wampanoag), film participant Dawn Neptune Adams (Penobscot), and linguist Roger Paul (Passamaquoddy). Moderated by Dawnland filmmaker and Upstander Project director Adam Mazo.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day at the MFA
Saturday, October 9, 2021 @ 10:00 am| Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day with free general admission to the MFA on Saturday, October 9, part of the Fenway Alliance’s annual Opening Our Doors Day. Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes and honors the heritage of all Indigenous peoples and the histories of their nations and communities. Stop by the MFA for free admission and giveaways of art-making kits as well as children’s books selected by Elizabeth James-Perry (Aquinna Wampanoag) and Ekua Holmes (African American), artists, activists, and creators of “Garden for Boston,” an exhibition on the Museum’s front lawn.
The Nettukkusqk Singers at Jeremiah Lee Mansion
Sunday, October 10th @ 1:00pm | Jeremiah Lee Mansion
The Nettukkusqk Singers are a female group of Wampanoag and Nipmuc Native American Traditional Singers. They perform traditional and contemporary songs accompanied by hand drums, rattles, and water drum. This event is free and family friendly.
Indigenous People’s Day Newton
October 11th @ 12:00pm | Albemarle Park
An outdoor, family-oriented celebration of Indigenous culture, art, and history. This inaugural annual event will feature over 40 artists, performers, speakers, vendors, and community organizations. Open to all residents of Newton and neighboring towns.
Newburyport Indigneous Peoples Day Observance
October 11, 11-12:30 pm | Moseley Woods Park
This family-friendly event will feature an Indigenous-led ceremonial circle, a reading of the recently passed Indigenous Peoples Day Resolution by Mayor Donna Haloday, and musical performances by local artists.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day & Native American Heritage Month
UMass Lowell | Many dates, times
Join UMass Lowell as they honor the rich history of the Indigenous and Native American communities through a series of events.
Creative Collective Land Acknowledgement
We acknowledge the traditional, ancestral, and unceded land of the Agawam, Massachusett, Naumkeag, Pawtucket, Nipmuck, and Mashpee-Wampanoag peoples. We honor and respect the citizens of these nations who continue to live here, and we recognize that while this acknowledgement is essential, it is woefully insufficient while the struggle against the systems of oppression that have dispossessed Indigenous people of their lands and denied their rights to self-determination still perpetuates today.
Creative Collective seeks to build relationships with Indigenous communities and nations through cultural initiatives and artistic support. For us, it’s necessary to recognize the land because as a collective of artists, writers, makers, creators, dreamers, weirdos, and creative small businesses who have had to advocate on our own behalf to be seen and respected in public and traditional sectors, we cannot begin to do this work without acknowledging the reality that the lands we live and create on belong to peoples who have been here advocating for the right to be seen, heard, and respected long before we ever arrived here.
But let it be clear that this is not about us. Our aim is to lift up and support the Indigenous peoples in our communities, and stand as allies who will listen openly with a willingness to be corrected and then to amplify what we have learned.
We recognize that we will never fully be able to repair the damage that has been done, nor fully understand the depth of the experiences of BIPOC and AAPI individuals in our cities, but we pledge to aid when, where, and how we can in the ongoing struggle against systemic racism.
Anti-Racism, Equity, and Accessibility Resources
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