Margaret Mead Festival

Mead 2022: Voices of the Pacific Northwest 

Join us on Saturday, December 3, and Sunday, December 4, for the in-person return of the Margaret Mead Festival at the American Museum of Natural History.  

Inspired by the opening of the revitalized Northwest Coast Hall in May 2022, this year's Mead Festival will be a two-day celebration of storytelling from the Indigenous Nations of the Pacific Northwest Coast and focus on film, performance, and other media by Native artists.  

Saturday, December 3

The Festival will showcase contemporary short and feature-length documentary and narrative films created by and featuring members of Pacific Northwest Coast communities. This year’s selection of films and shorts (for visitors ages 12 and up) was led by Mike Bourquin, a Tahltan/Gitxsan multi-disciplinary filmmaker from the Iskut First Nation. Full-day passes for Saturday, December 3, including access to all four film programs, are also available for purchase.

View full list of films and buy tickets.


Sunday, December 4

A series of 30-minute, family-friendly performances by the Git Hoan Dancers will showcase the magnificence of Tsimshian art. The Git Hoan Dancers, who resurrect the practice of their performance culture and educate the world on the diversity and importance of Native living arts, are led by Niis Bupts’aan|David Boxley, a Consulting Curator of the Northwest Coast Hall.

View performance times and buy tickets. 

VR Experience: Unceded Territories

On view 11:30 am-5:30 pm throughout the Mead Festival. 

Unceded Territories is a provocative VR experience that engages viewers in an interactive landscape that grapples with colonialism, climate change, and Indigenous civil rights. Featuring the iconic artwork of Canadian First Nations artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (Coast Salish and Okanagan descent), co-directed by Canadian filmmaker Paisley Smith, and with music from native Producer and DJ crew “The Halluci Nation,” Unceded Territories forces viewers to confront their role in the destruction of Indigenous land. 

This first-come, first-served VR experience is included with general admission to the Museum and will be on view in the Grand Gallery on Saturday and Sunday.

About the Margaret Mead Festival

The American Museum of Natural History's Margaret Mead Festival features works of media and storytelling that increase our understanding of the complexity and diversity of peoples and cultures around the world.  

Inspired by anthropologist Margaret Mead's groundbreaking use of cutting-edge technology like film and photography, the Mead celebrates ever-changing modes of storytelling, new technologies, and increased access to communities near and far while presenting the best in fiction and non-fiction works.  

About Mike Bourquin 

Mike Bourquin stands outdoors and holds a camera tripod on his shoulder.

Michael Bourquin is a director, cinematographer and editor. His films have been screened at a variety of festivals including the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, London International Filmmakers Festival, and the imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival.

Prior to his CSA nomination for Best Photography, Documentary or Factual (British Columbia: An Untold History—Change + Resistance), and Leo award nomination for Best Cinematography (also for British Columbia: An Untold History), Bourquin won Best Editing of Short Documentary at the London International Filmmakers Festival with the film Giving Back the Name With Respect, 2018. 

Bourquin has worked on numerous film and television projects with APTN, CBC, Knowledge, Discovery, History, National Film Board of Canada. Bourquin is currently in production with the NFB, as the director of photography on an upcoming feature length documentary. Bourquin is also slated to direct a four-part documentary series based off the book A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency by Seth Klein.  

An 11-minute film by Bourquin that highlights the persistence of Northwest Coast peoples and their traditions in the face of challenges is on view in the Museum’s Northwest Coast Hall.  

Mailing List

Sign up for the Mead mailing list on our Newsletter page.
Select "Film at the Museum" to receive film details, event updates, and special promos.

Generous support for the Margaret Mead Festival has been provided by the family of Margaret Mead. 

The Margaret Mead Festival is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. 

The Margaret Mead Festival is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Support for the Margaret Mead Festival is provided, in part, by the family of Frederick H. Leonhardt.