Enjoy free admission all day and special events at MFA Boston’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebration. Take a tour of our gallery featuring 20th-century Native art from the Southwest or explore our gallery showcasing Indigenous cultural traditions across the US and Canada. Enjoy music and dance, drop in on a variety of engaging family art-making activities, and more. Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes and honors the heritage of Native Americans and Indigenous peoples and the histories of their many nations and communities.

Indigenous Peoples' Day at the MFA is part of the Fenway Alliance's Opening Our Doors festival, a celebration of the Fenway Cultural District.


The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) is in Boston, Massachusetts. Founded in 1870, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, stands on the historic homelands of the Massachusett people, a site that has long served as a place of meeting and exchange among different nations. As a museum, we acknowledge the long history of the land we occupy today and seek ways to make Indigenous narratives more prominent in our galleries and programming. We can all learn more about the Massachusett people, who continue to be the stewards of this land, by visiting massachusetttribe.org.

Events and Activities

Local Partners

10 am–5 pm
Shapiro Family Courtyard

The North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB), United American Indians of New England, and Indigenous Peoples’ Day Massachusetts share information about their work and organizations.

Vendor Table: Wampanoag Trading Post and Gallery

10 am–3 pm
Shapiro Family Courtyard

Purchase handmade jewelry, art, and goods made by Indigenous artists from Wampanoag Trading Post and Gallery, a Mashpee Wampanoag–owned gallery and store located in Mashpee, Massachusetts.

What Do You See When You Look at ‘Appeal to the Great Spirit’? Native Students Respond

10 am–5 pm
Huntington Avenue Lawn

For more than 100 years, Cyrus Dallin’s Appeal to the Great Spirit (1909), a representation of a Native man by a white artist, has stood on MFA Boston’s Huntington Avenue Lawn. For Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Indigenous students from Massachusetts colleges and universities have responded to Dallin’s sculpture in the form of signs surrounding the sculpture that consider issues from artistic intentions to histories of stereotype. Visitors are also invited to share their thoughts on social media using the hashtag #mfaIndigenousPeoplesDay.

Remarks and Land Acknowledgement

11 am
Shapiro Family Courtyard

Hear from Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director; and Marina Tyquiengco, Ellyn McColgan Assistant Curator of Native American Art, as they welcome you to MFA Boston’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebration.

Danza Orgánica: Liminal Space

11:15 am and 1 pm
Remis Auditorium (short film screening, not a live performance)

Mar Parilla was not able to join us to today in person. See a 7-minute film of a  new performance work in development that explores temporal and physical liminal spaces as the crucial spots where transformation takes place. Mar Parrilla’s exploration of liminality centers her experience as the daughter of aging parents living in Borikén (Puerto Rico). Liminal spaces often take us by surprise, surfacing uncertainty and new challenges. Persisting, sometimes surrendering, and embracing what comes next are all part of this whirlwind of juxtaposing realities.

Drop-In Art Making: Corn Husk Weaving

11:15 am–4 pm
Druker Studios, Linde Family Wing

Learn how to create your own corn husk weaving work of art! Tribal artists use corn husks to make baskets, mats, braided rugs, and even braided shoes and sandals. This activity was created in collaboration with artist Elizabeth James-Perry.

Art-Making Demo by Jeremy Frey

Noon and 3 pm
Gallery 168

Acclaimed basket weaver Jeremy Frey (Passamaquoddy) demonstrates ash fancy basket making, a traditional form of Wabanaki weaving, and discusses his background and influences.

Spotlight Talk: Belongings and Stories

1 pm
Native North American Art Gallery, LG34

Layla Bermeo, Kristin and Roger Servison Curator of Painting, highlights belongings and stories in the Native North American Art Gallery.

Storybook Reading: ‘Keepunumuk: Weeâchumuns Thanksgiving’

1:30 and 2:30 pm
17th-Century New England Gallery, LG36

Author Danielle Greendeer (Mashpee Wampanoag Nation) reads her Wampanoag retelling of Thanksgiving. Greendeer is the owner of the Wampanoag Gallery and Trading Post and works on tribal governance, cultural perpetuation, and food sovereignty.

Responding to Revolution: Native Artist Interventions

2 pm
Boston on the Eve of Revolution and the New Nation Galleries, 132 and 133

Marina Tyquiengco (CHamoru), MFA Boston’s inaugural Ellyn McColgan Assistant Curator of Native American Art, presents artworks by Native American artists that challenge traditional narratives and offer their own perspectives on the history of the American Revolution.