NAICOB was originally established in 1969 as the Boston Indian Council when it served as the hub of social and civil rights activities for the American Indian community in Boston. The center was later organized as the North American Indian Center of Boston, a non-profit organization, in 1991. Since then, the center has provided cultural, social, educational, and professional related services to the New England Native American* community for 50 years. As the oldest urban Indian center in Massachusetts, our mission is to empower the Native American community with the goal of improving the quality of life of Indigenous peoples.
*A Note on Terminology The terminology used to describe American Indian people has changed over the years, as have the people that are recognized by state and federal governments as being American Indian. The terms that are often used today include American Indian, Native American, Indigenous, First Peoples, Aboriginal, and First Nations. Typically, First Nations is used to describe American Indian people in Canada and Aboriginal is used to describe the Native people of Australia. It is important to note, too, that the Native people of Alaska have been recognized as Alaska Native by the federal government since 1971. The Native people of Hawaii, or Native Hawaiians, are the most recent Native population to be included in grant monies made available to American Indians (although they are not formally recognized as a tribe).
On this website, you will find these terms to be used interchangeably. We do this to honor the terminology that different tribes or people use to describe themselves. We also recognize Indigenous people who may or may not be part of a federally recognized or state recognized tribe as well as those peoples whose tribes have been split by the U.S.-Canadian border and the U.S.-Mexican border. All Indigenous people are welcome at the North American Indian Center of Boston.