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A few ways to mark Indigenous Peoples Day around Boston

Last year, acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey signed an executive order designating the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples Day in Boston. “I encourage the city of Boston to observe Indigenous Peoples Day in lieu of Columbus Day,” read the order, signed on Oct. 6, 2021.”

The move was lauded by local Indigenous activists, many of whom continue to advocate for statewide adoption of the holiday. A rally urging the state to make this change will take place on Saturday, starting at noon at the Park Street T station. (Find info at www.indigenouspeoplesdayma.org.)


This upcoming holiday weekend, several museums and towns will host celebrations, with involvement by members of local tribes including the Massachusett, Nipmuc, and Wampanoag peoples. Here are a few ways to celebrate.

Indigenous Peoples Day Observance in Newburyport

Newburyport’s Indigenous Peoples Day event takes place Saturday, kicking off with an opening ceremony and fire circle led by Paul and Denise Pouliot (head speakers of the Cowasuck band of the Pennacook Abenaki). Paul is an Indigenous historian and lecturer; both Paul and Denise are federal religious advisors and involved with several other regional Indigenous advocacy organizations. The Newburyport event will include talks from other Indigenous leaders like Claudia A. Fox Tree and Mihku Paul, along with kids’ activities and performances from drummers, dancers, and poets. Oct. 8, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Waterfront Park, Newburyport. imaginestudios.org

A pair of moccasins and cuffs from the early 20th century made by an unidentified artist from the Western subarctic region of Canada. The moccasins are on loan to the MFA from the ARTER Collection.Tony Rinaldo

MFA Open House Indigenous Peoples’ Day

The MFA will be open to the public for free on Monday and offer a range of programming to commemorate Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Events include a corn husk weaving workshop created in collaboration with Elizabeth James-Perry, a basket weaving demonstration from Passamaquoddy basket weaver Jeremy Frey, a spotlight talk in the Native North American Art Gallery, and an outdoor display of artwork submitted by local Indigenous students at local colleges and universities. Guests will also be able to purchase handmade art, jewelry, and other products from Indigenous artists from the local Wampanoag Trading Post and Gallery (a Wampanoag-owned gallery in Massachusetts). Oct. 10, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave. mfa.org


Peabody Essex Museum Indigenous Peoples’ Day Celebration

The Peabody Essex Museum marks Indigenous Peoples’ Day by screening two short films and a documentary on the persecution of Indigenous people in the United States, painting and comic book making workshops, and an artist talk with Onondaga Nation member Frank Buffalo Hyde. Admission to the museum is always free for Salem residents with valid ID. Oct. 10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $0-$20, East India Square, 161 Essex St., Salem. pem.org

Elizabeth Solomon (Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag) collaborated with the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum to create their Indigenous Peoples' Day event.Courtesy of Elizabeth Solomon

‘Connections to Place’ at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will be open to the public for free on Monday (timed-entry tickets will still be required to enter). An event called “Connections to Place” features music, short films, and a “talking circle” with Indigenous artists. The event is a collaboration with Elizabeth Solomon (Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag), and will feature Visiting Studio Artist Erin Genia (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate), musician Hawk Henries (Chaubunagungamaug band of Nipmuc), and choreographer Mar Parrilla (Taíno Afroborikua). Oct. 10, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.. Free, advanced timed-entry tickets to the museum required. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way. gardnermuseum.org


Coyo Kaiztli dances in a ceremonial performance with the group Cetiliztli Nauhcampa at Newton's first Indigenous Peoples Day celebration last year.Erin Clark / Globe Staff

Indigenous Peoples Day Newton

Roughly 48 vendors and performers will gather in Newton Monday for its second annual celebration. Guests can expect food, musical performances, and presentations from local activists including professional educator Claudia A. Fox Tree and cultural group Pumawari Tusuy. Oct. 10, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Albemarle Park, Newton. www.ipdnewton.org

Watertown Celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day

Watertown will hold its first celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day this year at First Parish Watertown. The event includes a performance of the New Repertory Theatre play “Listen to Sipu,” which chronicles Watertown’s Indigenous history, along with a speech from Mitchel Ray, chairman of the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation. The Pequot people have a “connection” to Watertown, according to an event press release, because a 1637 massacre of Pequot tribe members occurred after the death of local Watertown resident John Oldham. The Watertown event will also include a proclamation from the Watertown City Council officially recognizing the holiday. Indigenous vendors will sell clothing, dreamcatchers, corn wreaths, painted gourds, jewelry, and more. Oct. 10, 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Free. First Parish Watertown, 35 Church St., Watertown. watertowncitizens.org

Joy Ashford can be reached at joy.ashford@globe.com. Follow them on Twitter @joy_ashford.