Opening to the public on October 10th, Native Voices, New England Tribal Families is an introduction to native communities around New England today. By visiting five different communities from northern to southern New England, museum visitors learn a lot about Native American traditions and how modern families balance contemporary life with preservation of important cultural identities.
Created by Boston Children’s Museum (BCM) and sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and Ocean Spray, this exhibit represents a unique collaboration between native advisors and the Museum’s exhibit design team. It builds on 60 years of collaboration between the Museum and native tribes in New England. The hands-on activities, compelling immersive environments, and evocative artifacts, both old and new provide a great way to learn about how all cultures preserve important values and hand them down from one generation to the next.
Native Voices: New England Tribal Families takes us through four New England seasons and shares stories, songs, and cultural materials that illustrate strong and enduring connections between tribes and their traditional homelands. Visitors will meet members of the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot of Maine, the Narragansett of Rhode Island, and the Aquinnah Wampanoag and Mashpee Wampanoag of Massachusetts through a series of environments and activities. Visitors can toboggan down a hill in Maine with young members of the Penobscot tribe, practice beading in an artist's studio on Cape Cod, meet students in a classroom at the Nuweetooun Tribal School in Rhode Island, explore a cranberry bog and the Aquinnah Tribal Museum on Martha's Vineyard and follow Michael’s journey to Pow Wows across the United States and Canada. Taking us far beyond the usual tales of the "people who met the Pilgrims," this hands-on exploration introduces five thriving New England communities as they work to balance cultural traditions with life in a modern world.
As a part of Ocean Spray’s ongoing commitment to educate consumers about the taste, health and heritage of the cranberry, Ocean Spray enhances the exhibit and provides insight into the importance and role of the cranberry in Native American tradition through educational and informative displays and activities that consist of:
• Cranberry Bog Photo Wall with cranberry fact windows
• Walkable Cranberry Bog Mat
• Working Cranberry Bounce Board
• Live Cranberry Bog in a box
Photos by Ryan McMahon