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/Alaska Native and First Nations urban Indian community in Boston. The Boston Indian Council was first headquartered in Dorchester and moved to Jamaica Plain in 1974. The center was reorganized as the North American Indian Center of Boston in 1991. Since then, we have provided a wide range of cultural, social, educational, and professional services to Native peoples in the Commonwealth. 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, Indian, 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. The Native people of Alaska have been recognized as Alaska Native by the federal government since 1971. Native Hawaiians, are the most recent Native population to be included in federal programs made available to American Indians although they are not federally recognized as a tribe. On this website, you will find the various terms that describe Indigenous peoples used interchangeably or used together. We do this to respect the terminology that different tribes and people use to describe themselves.
We honor Indigenous people who may or may not be part of a federally recognized or state recognized tribe, as well as the peoples whose tribes have been split by the U.S.-Canada border and the U.S.-Mexico border. All Indigenous people are welcome at the North American Indian Center of Boston.