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2021 ceremonial celebration

This page features participants & photos from our 1st annual Ceremonial Celebration, an event to celebrate and amplify Indigenous peoples and voices on Indigenous Peoples Day in Newton, Massachusetts. 

2021 invited guests and vendors

A photo of Annawon Weeden

Annawon Weeden


With a great many miles on his moccasins, Annawon has travelled extensively throughout Turtle Island & beyond.  Blistering cold trips to remote Alaskan villages, dancing in the desert of the southwest, providing education on tropical islands such as Hawaii or Bermuda, Annawon Weeden has witnessed firsthand how many tribes maintain their sovereignty, which has reinforced his pride within his own New England native tribal roots.  With ancestry representing his Pequot & Narragansett lineage, Annawon is also an enrolled member of his mother’s Mashpee Wampanoag community of Cape Cod.  Much of his free time is spent creating indigenous art such as his wampum jewelry line (First Light Fashion) or representing the indigenous voice while conducting educational programming as founder of First Light Foundation.


Ata Bibi Inarunikia Pastrana, Bohio Atabei Jaguar Warrior

She is recognized as a relentless advocate of human, social, and cultural rights as well as a dedicated promoter for the protection of Mother Earth. Vanessa has worked and is actively involved with several local and international human rights and environmental organizations. Motivated by her love for her cultural heritage, she was a co-founder and director of Presencia Taina Caribbean indigenous cultural arts organization, successfully promoted awareness of Taino Boricua Culture via educational and artistic workshops and presentations. She is a spiritual counselor, healer and native cultural diversity consultant and speaker. Immensely proud of her Boricua cultural heritage, she believes strongly that cultural awareness with positive associations and engagements by our young people with their cultural heritage creates a stronger sense of self-identity, promotes resilience, self esteem and provides a positive sense of pride in our lives and our communities.


Bohio Atabei Caribbean First

Nations Women's Circle

Bohio Atabei Indigenous women warriors Honoring our Ancestors, Rebuilding our Communities, Exploring our Horizons, Safeguarding our Future, Celebrating our people.

BOMBAntillana photo 2.jpeg


BOMBAntillana is a diverse group of people of varying ages and lived experiences learning together, building community and connecting to ourselves and to our ancestors through Bomba. Bomba is the oldest living musical tradition of Boriken, the island currently known as Puerto Rico, and reflects the powerful forces that shaped the island’s history, drawing from the West African (Bantu) and Taino (Indigenous) experience with enslavement enforced on the island by the Spanish Crown prior to the 1700’s. Bomba music and dance originated in plantations when the enslaved were “allowed” one day of rest and was played, danced and sung as a means of creative expression, celebration, healing, resisting oppression and secretly planning escapes. As Bomba practitioners, BOMBAntillana members dive deep into learning the history of this art form and of the Carribean, learn traditional call and response songs and create new ones, moving our bodies, communicating and releasing what no longer serves us. Through song and dance, BOMBAntillana engages audience members of all ages to become active participants in its presentation.

A photo of Cetiliztli Nauhcampa

Cetiliztli Nauhcampa

Cetiliztli Nauhcampa Quetzalcoatl in Ixachitlan was formed in 1999 from individuals from the four directions of the continent. Most of its members hail from Mexico, South America, the Caribbean as well as the US. They are an indigenous group that offers ceremonial performances and workshops through dances and songs from the Anahuac tradition. The group is cultural, spiritual, artistic, political and educational.  They are an open circle formed by families and individuals from the indigenous community that now reside in New York City.


Cetiliztli Nauhcampa Quetzalcoatl in Ixachitlan se formó en 1999 por gente proveniente de las cuatro direcciones del continente. La mayoría de sus miembros vienen de México y algunos son de Centro y Sur América, el Caribe y también de los Estados Unidos. Es un grupo espiritual, cultural, artístico, político y educativo. Cetiliztli es un círculo abierto formado por familias e individuos de la comunidad indígena que radican en la zona metropolitana de Nueva York.

A photo of Guru Sudha Chandra Sekhar

Vidyanjali Dance School

Vidyanjali is under the umbrella of Hindu Temple Rhythms established in 1958 to preserve and promote Classical Indian Arts in North America. Based in the Greater Boston Area, Vidyanjali aims to educate young artists in the traditional Thanjavur style of Bharatanatyam as taught by Guru Sudha Chandra Sekhar of Hindu Temple Rhythms and the Gurus of Sri Rajarajeshwari Bharata Natya Kalamandir in Mumbai, India.

A photo of Eastern Suns drummers

Eastern Suns

Eastern Suns share songs with children as a way to keep traditions alive. As song keepers, they honor the sacredness of sound as healing modality and community-builders. Come feel the beat of the universal heart through their drumming.


David Weeden via email, or by phone (401)782-7848

A photo of Kasike Jorge Estevez

Kasike Jorge Estevez Higuayagua

Jorge Baracutei Estevez (Taino) is a Taino activist and avid researcher on Caribbean Indigeneity covering topics such as History, Material culture, customs, identity, Spirituality, Agricultural practices, identity, Genetics, and Language. Mr. Estevez worked at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian for 25 years as an Education/Workshops Program Specialist. In 2011 he founded Higuayagua Taino of the Caribbean, a Cultural group, to continue this quest with like-minded people. Higuayagua is Pan Caribbean in scope with members from Cuba, DR, PR and Haiti.

A photo of Kali "KO" Reis

Kali "KO" Reis

Born on August 24, 1986 in Providence Rhode Island, Kali “K.O” Mequinonoag Reis is the first mixed Native American Female World Champion Boxer. Raised in a single parent household by her mother Patricia “ Gentle Rain”, she is the youngest of five children. Mequinonoag, meaning “Many Feathers, Many Talents” is her Native American name given to her by her mother. Kali’s mixed background includes lineage from the Seaconke Wampanoag and Cherokee tribes as well as ancestry from the Cape Verde Islands.Living up to her given “Many Feather/Many Talents” acting, writing, directing and representing her rich heritage with the reminder WE ARE STILL HERE are on her agenda outside of the ring. Representing BIPOC and “Mixed Indigenous” people in mainstream media and entertainment is her focus. Kali recently made her acting debut at the first Film Festival post COVID at the Hudson Yards as part of Tribeca Film Festivals’ US Narrative competition with the World Premier of the thriller ‘Catch the Fair One’. This was not only a film where she was lead actress, but also co-wrote the story and was awarded a Special Jury Mention prize for her performance. 

A photo of Nayana LaFond

Nayana LaFond

Nayana’s work covers a variety of topics related to trauma, domestic violence, medical issues and more. Her current series is about Missing and Murdered Indigenous People. Nayana began working on this painting project on May 5th 2020 with just one painting. She intended to only produce one to honor those lost and gone and to cope with her own experiences related to domestic violence. What began as one painting has become an ongoing and possibly never ending project. Between May 5th 2020 and May 5th 2021 Nayana completed 46 MMIP Portraits. Each one of a real person who is either missing, no longer with us, honoring someone they lost or speaking out for the cause. Nayana's MMIP Painting project is not for personal profit. Anything Nayana makes from the project she puts back into it in the form of supplies and both monetary and Giclee art print donations to charities, institutions and free Giclee art prints which she sends to the families of each person she paints. Families receive anywhere from 10 to 30 free Giclee art prints of their loved one. The original paintings are exhibited to raise awareness about this serious issue. Nayana also makes donations to shelters and charities who help victims and survivors of MMIP and domestic violence. Nayana resides in central MA with her daughter and is a member of the Anishinaabe, Abenaki & Mi’kmaq First Nations of Ontario and Quebec.

A photo of Luna del Flor

Luna del Flor

Luna del Flor is a Caribbean woman raised in Lawrence, Massachusetts who works with the power of poetry as a mirror and healer. She intersects her lifelong passion for justice, equality, and the healing of humanity with her artistic goal of honest dialogue by reflecting on individual and shared experiences in rhyme. She is a Director at The Oddball Foundation, a poetry columnist at, has been chosen by Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to present her work as one its Neighborhood Salon Luminaries, has been gifted a grant by the Massachusetts Assembly and Art Place America to support her artistic and cultural contributions to community, and, musically, she is featured as writer and performer on Playroom Boston Records with 4 releases to date. She also currently works with BePeacen Productions on short films which have included awareness for Breast Cancer as a survivor and in honor of International Women's Day. When not on stage, she curates events with other talents and programmers for social justice movements and community building.

A photo of Ankara

Ankhara by Luciana

Offering handmade, luxury home décor, accessories, and loungewear. Luciana's home décor merchandise is made from interior textiles and materials. All her merchandise is unique, eclectic, and ever-changing.  

A photo of Tai Pelli

Tai Pelli 

Tai Pelli is a writer and Public Speaker and a Borikén Taíno Tekina, (a Taíno Indigenous teacher and historian of the Caribbean Ancestral territory of the Taíno Peoples including Puerto Rico); International Relations & Human Rights Officer of the United Confederation of Taíno People and Co-founder and Co-President of the Caribbean Amerindian Development Organization. She represents both the United Confederation of Taíno People and the International Indian Treaty Council; an Indigenous international organization representing Indigenous Peoples from five regions of the world, North, Central and South America, the Pacific and the Caribbean. The International Indian Treaty Council works for the Sovereignty and Self Determination of Indigenous Peoples and the recognition and protection of Indigenous Rights, Treaties, Traditional Cultures and Sacred Lands.

A photo of Jaike Spotted Wolf

Jaike Spotted Wolf

Water Protector. Nunpa Nagi. Writer, speaker, front-line activist in the effort to declare and maintain Indigenous sovereignty from the white supremacist and colonized space within Turtle Island. 

A photo of Hiawatha Brown

Hiawatha Brown

Narragansett tribal member and speaker.

A photo of Bayan Rock's booth

Banyan Rocks

Offering handmade, healing centered, wire-wrapped jewelry. 

A photo of Krysia Villón, owner of Chiqui's Kitchen

Chiqui's Kitchen

Offering handmade, love made, small batch Peruvian-style empanadas using Indigenous Andean ingredients and more. Based out of Newton, MA.

A photo of Alvilda Sophia Anaya-Alegria

Galeria L'Alvilda

Professor Alvilda Sophia Anaya-Alegria, is a Contemporary Abstract Expressionist Fine Art Artist, Muralist, and Installation Artist and will be offering some of her work. 

A photo of Alvin "Acoma" Colon

Alvin "Acoma" Colon

Alvin "Acóma" Colon is a Boston-based artist with over 20 years of experience working as a painter, sculptor, and airbrush artist. His journey as an artist began at the early age of 11 as he practiced graffiti art. In 1995, he was featured in an exhibit hosted at the Massachusetts State House and titled "Graffiti In The House." His work has been auctioned off and purchased by many people such as Marcy Jackson (Assistant Attorney General), Paul Simons, from Partners and Simons and many more. The opportunity to feature his art at such a prestigious venue inspired him to create more works of art on canvas. 


Since then, he has collaborated with several artists and featured his talent on murals displayed throughout the Boston area. He attended MassArt where he studied graphic design and honed his artistic talent. Throughout college, he co-owned a business named MadInk, where he designed and airbrushed custom apparel for individuals who were looking for unique garments that could not be purchased in any major retail store. In 2014 he was commissioned by the Boston Police Academy to create a portrait of the late Mayor Menino and presented it to him during his last year in office.


Acóma' continues to grow as an artist and believes in building avenues for individuals to explore their artistic talents. Today, he is the owner and Director of Paris Street Gallery/Studios, a space in Everett, Massachusetts that houses his own private studio and promotes art to the greater Boston-area community.


Dr. Darlene Flores,
Karaya Wellness Clinic LLC

Dr. Darlene Flores of Karaya Wellness Clinic LLC is a founding member of the IPD Newton, grew up in Newton, and is a proud mother. She continues the legacy of her family as a holistic huesero (bone setter) and holistic energetic worker. Known for her activism and advocacy for more holistic medicine to be taught and practiced in the BIPOC community, Dr. Flores prides herself in preserving the ancestral ways to raise her children and serve Native/Indigenous communities. She is also proud to be a veteran.

A photo of Stan Hiacoombs

Native Times

Stan Hiacoombs, hailing from Cape Cod and a Wampanoag Tribal member, offers the best of seafood, Wamp-style. Native Times not only offers food, but coffee, too! 

Dancers from Pumawari Tusuy

Pumawari Tusuy

Pumawari Tusuy is a cultural group whose purpose is to promote Peruvian culture through dances, enhancing the traditions and customs of our country with a distinctive style and original performances, while honoring the different backgrounds and regional representations.

A photo of Rosalba Solis

Rosalba Solis, La Piñata

Rosalba is the founder of the Boston-based, La Pinata - a nearly thirty-year old, Latin American cultural & performing arts, community organization. Rosalba is a professional teacher, dancer, musician, '19 Mayor Walsh Youth Advocate Award Winner, '13 Jubilation Foundation Fellow, '05 Boston Fund for Teachers Fellows, '01 Michael Griffin Humanities Award Honorable Mention recipient for "excellence and commitment in service to Boston youth", and '93 Massachusetts Arts in Education Award recipient for "being an outstanding educator in the arts". What is truly amazing, however, is watching Rosalba engage with students and audiences, Rosalba sparks a love for arts through her cultural and performing arts instructions; and with the arts as a tool for transcending obstacles, Rosalba ignites a joy for learning and life in all students and audiences that she touches.

A photo of the Wampanoag Dancers

Wampanoag Dancers

Eastern Social Song and Dance requiring audience participation. Wampanoag Nation Singers & Dancers are represented by the communities of Aquinnah, Mashpee, & Herring Pond.

Artwork by Red Rock Designs
A photo of the owner of Sankofa Anacaona Botanicals
Sole Rhythmics logo

Red Rocks Design 

Sankofa Anacaona Botanicals

Sole Rhythmics

Micah Statis is Herring Pond Wampanoag and had been creating her work since she was 16 years old. Realizing her creations further connects her to her people and her culture. 

Offering handcrafted, small batch herbal products made with locally sourced ingredients and original botanical art. 

Steven Garcia Dancers perform house dance. House dance is a freestyle street dance and social dance that has roots in the underground house music scene of Chicago and New York. It is typically danced to  electronic dance music provided by DJs in nightclubs.

A photo of Belinda Miliano

Crafts From The Bay

Offering beaded creations, sea glass jewelry, and custom orders. Made in Maine by Passamaquoddy Tribal Member, Belinda Miliano.

2021 photos

All photos taken and provided by Robert Arcand.

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