Free admission for all!
Enjoy free admission and special events at the MFA for Indigenous Peoples’ Day—and the Fenway Alliance’s 18th annual Opening Our Doors Day. Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes and celebrates the heritage of Native Americans and the histories of their nations and communities. Enjoy music and dance, take a tour of our Native North American Art Gallery and respond to our collection, and drop in on family art-making activities and artist demonstrations.
Co-created and presented in partnership with Akomawt Educational Initiative and Jonathan James-Perry, Tribal Citizen of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Nation.
Founded in 1870, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, stands on the historic homelands of the Massachusett people, a site which has long served as a place of meeting and exchange among different nations.
Share Your Thoughts
10 am–4 pm, Huntington Avenue Lawn
What do you see when you look at Cyrus Dallin’s sculpture Appeal to the Great Spirit? Share your thoughts about this artwork. Your response will inform its future interpretation.
Welcome and Blessing
1:30 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard
Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director; Elizabeth Solomon, Member of the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag; Jonathan James-Perry, Tribal Citizen of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Nation; and Chris Newell, Passamaquoddy, Akomawt Educational Initiative.
Music and Dance
Native American Hoop Dance featuring Lisa Odjig (Ojibwe)
11 am and 2 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard
Watch as two-time World Hoop Dance Champion Lisa Odjig tells the story of creation using music, dance, and multiple flexible hoops. Narrated by renowned musician and MC Chris Newell (Passamaquoddy).
11 am and 1 pm, Remis Auditorium
Mother, singer, composer, producer, teacher, and activist—Jennifer Kreisberg (Tuscarora, North Carolina) comes from four generations of Seven Singing Sisters through her maternal line. She is known for her fierce vocals and soaring range.
Free performance ticket required. Limited availability: first come, first served. Performance tickets available at Remis Auditorium starting 60 minutes before show times.
Iron River Singers
10–10:30 am and 11:30–Noon, Huntington Avenue Entrance
3:30–4 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard
Enjoy hand drum and contemporary powwow songs from Iron River Singers, an intertribal northern-style group comprised of Ojibwe, Abenaki, and Wampanoag singers from the South Coast of Massachusetts.
The Kingfisher Dance Theater
11:30 am, 1, and 3 pm, Gallery 250
Enjoy interactive song and dance with members of the Southern New England Native community.
Art-Making Activities and Artist Demonstration
10 am–Noon, Education Center in the Druker Family Pavilion, Room 159
Elizabeth James-Perry is an Aquinnah Wampanoag artist, speaker, and culture bearer.
Noon–4 pm, Education Center in the Druker Family Pavilion, Room 160
Kerri Helme is a Mashpee Wampanoag artist, speaker, and culture bearer.
10 am–1 pm, Gallery 168
Sparrow Plainbull is a Haliwa-Saponi artist, dancer, educator, and culture bearer.
Examining the Collection
10:30 am and 2:30 pm, LG33
Join Akomawt Educational Initiative educators and MFA curators in the Native North American Art Gallery as they discuss the defining characteristics of “Native art” and who gets to make these decisions. Hear about techniques used in the works on display and learn about the ever-changing cultural contexts in which we understand them.
11:30 am, Meet at Sharf Visitor Center
Join Takiyah Harris on a free guided tour to explore highlights of the Museum collections. Tour is 60 minutes.
Meet at Sharf Visitor Center
10:30 am, Highlights of the Museum Collections
11:30 am, Art of Asia
12:15 pm, Art of the Americas
12:30 pm, 3 in 30 Minutes
1 pm, Introduction to the Contemporary Collection
1:45 pm, Art of Europe
2:30 pm, Art of the Ancient World
3:15 pm, Highlights of the Museum Collections
Join a free guided tour to explore highlights from the Museum’s many collections.
2 pm, Alfond Auditorum
Directed by Adam Mazo and Ben Pender-Cudlip (USA, 2017, 86 min.). Digital.
For decades, child welfare authorities have been removing Native American children from their homes to “save” them from being Indian. In Maine, the first official “truth and reconciliation commission” begins a historic investigation. Dawnland goes behind-the-scenes as this historic body grapples with difficult truths, redefines reconciliation, and charts a new course for state and tribal relations.
Free performance ticket required. Limited availability: first come, first served. Performance tickets available at Alfond Auditorium starting 30 minutes before show times.
The MFA is committed to accessibility for all visitors. For information, visit Accessibility, e-mail email@example.com, or call 617-267-9300 or 617-369-3188 (TTY). Wheelchairs and walkers are available at all entrances, first come, first served.
Tickets are required for free Museum admission, available at all ticket desks.