Open House

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Monday, October 9, 2023
10:00 am–5:00 pm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Tickets available in person on a first-come, first-served basis. Admission is free with a valid Massachusetts zip code.

Add to Calendar 2023-10-09 10:00:00 2023-10-09 17:00:00 Indigenous Peoples' Day 10/09/2023 10 am–5 pm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA Museum of Fine Arts, Boston America/New_York public

Join us to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day at the MFA. This year, we’re offering free admission—including access to “Fashioned by Sargent”—for Massachusetts residents. Enjoy gallery tours, 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

Events and Activities

Resource Fair

10 am–4 pm
Shapiro Family Courtyard

Local partners the North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB), United American Indians of New England, Indigenous Peoples’ Day Massachusetts, Italian Americans for Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Cultural Survival Bazaar share information about their work and organizations.

Drop-In Art Making: Pottery

10 am–4 pm
Druker Studios, Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art

Learn how to create your own pottery, inspired by the many traditions of pottery making in Native North America. This activity was created in consultation with Mashpee Wampanoag artist Haley Peters.

Free Guided Tours

11 am, Noon, and 1 pm
Meet at Sharf Visitor Center

Wondering where to start your visit? Experience the Museum on a free, 60-minute guided tour. Led by knowledgeable guides, look closely at artwork across the MFA’s collections. Learn more about old favorites and discover something new! Free and no registration is required. Participants of all ages and experiences are welcome.

ASL Interpreter
Available 12 pm.

Remarks and Land Acknowledgment

11 am
Shapiro Family Courtyard

Hear from Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director; Marina Tyquiengco (CHamoru), Ellyn McColgan Associate Curator of Native American Art; and Jenny Oliver (Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag), Head of Dance Performance at Tufts University, as they welcome you to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

ASL Interpreter

Hawk Henries

11:30 am and 2 pm
Shapiro Family Courtyard

Hawk Henries is an artist, composer, and flute musician of the Chaubunagungamaug band of Nipmuc. He expertly crafts Eastern Woodlands flutes through ancestral and contemporary techniques. His transformative performances create contemplative spaces for unity and meaningful reflection on how we each have the capacity to make change in the world. Through music, discussion, and a note of humor, he weaves a calm, engaging, and thought-provoking experience.

Art-Making Demo by Haley Peters

Noon and 3 pm
Gallery 168

Haley Peters (Mashpee Wampanoag) utilizes traditional techniques of pinching and coiling clay to create forms that reference historic Eastern Woodland vessels. Inspired by how historical vessels were made, they often find joy in exaggerating and pushing these forms and methods to extremes.

ASL Interpreter
Available 3 pm.

Community Perspective: Penobscot Powder Horn

12:30 pm
Native North American Art Gallery, Gallery LG34

Alexandra Moleski (Penobscot) highlights a Penobscot powder horn on view in the Native North American Art Gallery. Alexandra graduated from Simmons University with a bachelor’s in public history and has a personal connection to Indigenous history. She is currently security operations project manager of the Protective Services department at the MFA.

ASL Interpreter

Community Perspective: Diné Belongings and Stories

1 pm
Gallery 327

Shandiin Brown (Diné), Rhode Island School of Design Henry Luce Curatorial Fellow for Native American Art, highlights Diné belongings and stories in “A Little Bit of the Southwest.” Brown is a curator, creative, and citizen of the Navajo Nation from Arizona and a graduate of Dartmouth College.

ASL Interpreter

Community Perspective: Guinaiya and Care

2:30 pm
Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art, Level 2

Marina Tyquiengco (CHamoru), Ellyn McColgan Associate Curator of Native American Art, highlights and addresses the many forms of guinaiya (love) and care featured in CHamoru artist Gisela Charfauros McDaniel’s Tiningo’ si Sirena.

Screening of Hot Water Over Raised Fists: A Closer Look at Belonging

1:30 and 2:30 pm
Riley Seminar Room

Drawing on the legacy of resilience among Black Indigenous people and the artists’ desire to heal, mend, and deepen their connection to each other as Black Native women who belong to these lands, this choreographed film responds to the questions of belonging raised in the narratives written and voiced by the artists. Filmmakers Jenny Oliver and sadada jackson weave a complex tapestry that expresses their identities, relationship to place, and relationship to each other. Hot Water Over Raised Fists: A Closer Look at Belonging (14 mins., 2021) lays out the way they and their ancestors have lived in relationship to land that favors connection and belonging over unabated expansion and settlement.

ASL Interpreter
Available 1:30 pm.