The BU Arts Initiative is proud to sponsor Indigenous Voices in the Americas – an interdisciplinary program series highlighting the artistic voices of Indigenous People from both North and South America beginning in the Spring 2021 semester and running through the 2021/2022 academic year.

Boston University currently sits on the unceded ancestral land of the Massachusett People.

Spring 2022 events


January 18 through March 1BU Art Galleries (Faye G., Jo, and James Stone Gallery 855 Commonwealth Avenue)
Life Altering: Selections from a Kansas City Collection. Featuring work by Jeffrey Gibson (Chocktaw/Cherokee) and Wendy Red Star (Apsáalooke/Crow) along with nearly a dozen other contemporary artistsCreated over the past 12 years, the works in this exhibit explore a rich array of meaning relevant to our present time. Free and open to the public.


February through May, 2022 – George Sherman Union 2nd floor landing
MASHQ & Winter Dreams
 by Elizabeth James-Perry – enrolled with the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head – Aquinnah in Massachusetts. She practices traditional and contemporary art forms that include sculptural wampum adornment and woven quillwork, Native textiles and watercolor illustrations. Presented by the BU Arts Initiative. See below for a conversation and demonstration with Elizabeth on May 2nd.


Feb. 11-13, and April 22-24, 1 pm – Women & Masks virtual research conference
The Women & Masks conference explores the myriad intersections of the subjects, masks and women via talks, workshops, papers, panels, and performances. Featuring Skeena Reece (Metis/Cree and Tsimshian/Gitksan descent), Débora and Ana Correa (Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani), and Anne Lambright (Chickasaw). 

February 27, 2022 – 12:30 pm to 5 pm – Bus trip to DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

Jeffrey Gibson’s (Mississippi Choctaw/Cherokee) Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House and Infinite Indigenous Queer Love. $5 BU Students only. Registration open in January 2022


March 22, 24 & 29| BU School of Music Residency with Anaís Azul

Anaís Azul is a Peruvian immigrant and California based singer-songwriter, composer, and teaching artist. Their artistry engages with music as a tool for community building, cross-genre collaboration, and collective healing. This presentation and discussion will help participants understand how they can build a sustainable life as artists. March 22, 4 pm at the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground (808 Commonwealth Ave – Being A Queer Latinx Artist in the 21st Century: A Conversation on the Intersections of Identity, Creativity, and Finding a Career Path. March 24, 8 pm at the CFA Concert Hall (865 Commonwealth Ave) – Anaís Azul Live with Time’s Arrow. March 29, 9 am in CFA Room 171 (865 Commonwealth Ave.) – Composers Forum

March 23, 2022 | 6 pm  – Storytelling Sovereignty with Monika Ille Monika Ille (Abenaki First Nation of Odanak) at the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground event space. 808 Commonwealth Ave.Registration Required.

Monika is the CEO of APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) in Winnipeg, Canada, the first Indigenous-owned network in the world. Monika has spent nearly 30 years in the broadcasting industry, including at the Société Radio-Canada and the National Film Board (NFB).




March 28 through April 1 | Indigenous History, Languages & Cultures Week

The Department of Romance Studies and the Center for Latin American Studies present: Indigenous History, Languages & Cultures Week / Semana de la historia, lenguas y culturas de los pueblos originarios. Speaker presentations will take place via Zoom from 4 to 5:30 PM, followed by student presentations from 5:30 to 6. You are welcome to attend all or part of any session. Information about the presenters may be found here


March 31, 2022 | 5:30 pmIndigenous Perspectives on Sustainability and the Arts with JoAnn Chase (Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Indian Nation) COM ’85 at the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground event space, 808 Commonwealth Ave. Co-presented with BU Sustainability and the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground. Registration Required

JoAnn is the Director of the American Indian Environmental Office, Office of International and Tribal Affairs in the EPA, and she has recently partnered with music icon Nona Hendryx and social justice innovator Makani Themba to launch SisterSMATR (Science, Math, Art, Technology, Robotics) which leverages art and community to close the gender gap in science and technology. JoAnn has previously served as the Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians.

March 31 to April 7, 2022Dakota Mace (Diné) in residency at the School of Visual Arts, co-sponsored with the BU Arts Initiative. Event Details TBD.
Dakota Mace is a Diné (Navajo) photographer and textile artist who focuses on translating the language of Diné weaving history and beliefs through alternative photography techniques, weaving, beadwork, and papermaking.


April 19, 2022, | 6 to 7 pm Indigenous American Culinary Arts Celebration with Krysia Villon (MET 2020).
Presented by the Gastronomy & Food Studies Program. Open to BU community only. Limited space, RSVP required. Villon is a Peruvian-American chef and food historian. She is the daughter of a Peruvian immigrant father and a Boston-born mother of Polish and Scottish/English descent; and she believes in food sovereignty for all of us inhabiting this Earth.


April 22, 2022 | 12 pm to 1 pm – Giving/Taking Notice: A Talk with STÓ:LŌ Ethnomusicologist Dylan Robinson
A virtual talk by Indigenous ethnomusicologist Dr. Dylan Robinson (xwélmexw [Stó:lō/Skwah]) of the University of British Colombia, author of the acclaimed Hungry Listening. Robinson is an artist, curator, and writer. From 2015-2022, he served as the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts at Queen’s University. His book, Hungry Listening (University Minnesota Press, 2020), examines Indigenous and settler colonial practices of listening, and was awarded best first book by the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, Canadian Association for Theatre Research, and the Labriola Centre American Indian National Book Award. Use this link to join the talk. Presented by the Department of Musicology & Ethnomusicology in the School of Music, College of Fine Arts.

May 2nd, 2022 | 5:00 pm. Seeing Turtle Island Through An Artist Lens: Reviving Connections with the Natural Environmentwith Elizabeth James Perry (Aquinnah Wampanoag)| Terrace Lounge (2nd Floor), George Sherman Union- 775 Commonwealth Ave.  (Register here)

Elizabeth makes distinctively robust and textured wampum shell jewelry, porcupine quillwork, and northeastern twined textiles. She creates substantial heirloom quality adornment items reflecting her Algonquian diplomatic heritage. In cultivating many of the plants used in natural dyes at her home in the Southcoast area of Massachusetts, her gardens serve to seed the suburbs with important Native species. The rest are wild harvested in a sustainable way.


Past Events

September 18, 1 pm – BU Global Music Festival on Alpert Mall (BU Beach)
Eastern Medicine Singers
is an Algonquin Drum Group from Woonsocket/Providence, RI dedicated to keeping the eastern woodlands American Indian culture alive. The drum is made up of RI, NY, NJ & Southeastern Massachusetts Tribes.


October 29-31, 1 pm – Women & Masks virtual research conference
The Women & Masks conference explores the myriad intersections of the subjects, masks and women via talks, workshops, papers, panels, and performances. Featuring Skeena Reece (Metis/Cree and Tsimshian/Gitksan descent), Débora and Ana Correa (Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani), and Anne Lambright (Chickasaw). The conference also runs Oct. 29-31, Feb. 11-13, and April 22-24.


October 8 through 24Caution: Cultural Emergency

Earthen sculpture of water monster Unktehi and a flag bearing the Morningstar.

Caution: Cultural Emergency – Public art installation by Erin Genia (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota). Co-sponsored by the American & New England Studies Program. More information soon.




October 21, 6 pm – Art & Indigeneity: A Conversation with Erin Genia and Elizabeth James-Perry, Moderated by Professor Lynne Allen.
Join Elizabeth and Erin as they discuss their work at BU this Fall, Caution: Cultural Emergency and Bear Map & Wampumpeak Belt. They will also discuss their larger body of work and experiences as Indigenous artists. Free and open to the public with registration.


November 16, 12 pm – 1:30 pm (EST) – Curating the Arctic: Northern Museums and Decolonization (virtual).
Museums in and of the North are leading the way in creative conversations about how museums and collections can generate new narratives with old objects. Just us for a round table discussion with Arctic museum curators and scholars speaking about museums of engines of Indigenous cultural renewal, community knowledge, decolonial efforts, creative innovation and more.

December 3, 4 & 5Patterns of Wind at the Booth Theatre – 820 Commonwealth Ave.

The BU School of Theatre presents a Booth Production world-premiere. A convergence of stories of lineage, legacy, and land. Developed and facilitated by SOT resident guest artist Ty Defoe (Ojibwe + Oneida Nations) in collaboration with guest artist Katherine Freer. Interweaving Indigenous oral storytelling traditions and contemporary multimedia performance, Patterns of Wind is a process of creation and exploration. Drawing from personal narrative and blood memory, the ensemble will devise an experience that uplifts the interconnectedness of all living things.


Thursday, January 28 | 12:00 pm EST; 10:00 am MST; 5:00 pm GMT
Ataramik (Always): A Conversation with Reneltta Arluk
Reneltta Arluk (Inuvialuit, Dene, Cree), Director of Indigenous Arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and Director, Akpik Theatre
Part of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies Arctic Environmental Humanities Workshop Series


Tuesday, February 9 | 3:30 pm EST; 5:30pm CLST; 8:30pm GMT
Mapuche in Spanish / Chilean in Mapuzugun: Signs of a Mixed Poetic with Huilliche-Chilean poet Jaime Luis Huenún. Introduction by Sergio Mansilla Torres, Chilean poet, scholar, and professor of philosophy and humanities at Universidad Austral de Chile
Presented by the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies Center for Latin American Studies. Co-sponsored by the BU Arts Initiative.