Supporting Indigenous Communities
On October 6th of 2021, the City of Boston issued an Executive Order declaring every second Monday of October as Indigenous People’s Day. This order affirms the City’s commitment to reconciliation and support of the rights of Indigenous peoples. The Executive Order also included a list of proposals to support the celebration of Indigenous histories and futures in the City. Proposals included the need to expand City capacity for support and engagement of indigenous communities.
In 2022 the City of Boston hired an Indigenous Public Art and Cultural Spaces consultant with expertise on regional Indigenous arts, cultures, and communities. The selected consultant will work with the City's public art team to inform public art commissioning. They will also inform governmental approaches to art, property, and land in Boston.
An interdepartmental working group of engaged City employees has been working together since 2020 to coordinate our internal efforts to support Indigenous communities through direct action, active dialogue, organizational support, and improved communication.
We are also actively partnering with local tribal members and organizations such as the North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB) to further their mission of empowering and investing in the Native American community of Boston.
The City Archaeology Program is working with local Indigenous communities on the CPA-funded Boston Harbor Islands Archaeological Climate Action Plan to document ancient Indigenous sites and historical archaeological sites on the islands at risk to erosion due to the ongoing impacts of climate change.
In 2020, Erin Genia, Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota was an Artist-in-Residence for the City of Boston. As an Artist-in-Residence, Erin led a virtual panel series called "Confronting Colonial Myths in Boston's Public Space," and worked with the Office of Emergency Management to explore the notion of "cultural emergency."
The Landmarks Commission is in the process of landmarking the Indigenous Native Rhyolite Quarry site in Mattapan as the first Indigenous historical landmark in the city. The quarry was a place where Indigenous People's mined pink and banded rhyolite for stone tools for at least the past 7,000 years.