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  • Lani Hansen

2019 Keetoowah Tradition Keepers announced



TAHLEQUAH - The John Hair Cultural Center and Museum at the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians is proud to announce tribal members Marcella Foreman and Lila Killer as its 2019 Tradition Keepers.

"Thanks to the nominators and to the judges for their participation in nomination and selection of two worthy Tradition Keepers," said Ernestine Berry, JHCCM director. "For those who nominated the non-winners, don’t give up. There will be another opportunity next year. Be encouraged to try again."

Tradition Keepers are exclusive tribal members with traditional talents involving the Keetoowah language, arts and culture. These individuals are unselfish with their talents and have devoted themselves to passing on their knowledge to the next generation.

Foreman was selected for her beadwork and basketry, which she has been practicing and sharing with her community for 45 years. She is a resident of the Oaks community.

Killer was selected for her design and creation of traditional apparel including tear dresses and ribbon shirts, skills she has also taught to others for the past 41 years. She is a resident of the Tahlequah community.

Both women will be honored at the 69th Annual Keetoowah Celebration taking place Oct. 5 with a special award and a $250 check presented by UKB Chief Joe Bunch.

Since 2005, two Tradition Keepers have been selected by the tribe each year. Talents range from stone carvers to bow makers, language experts and storytellers.

For more information about the honorable title and to see a list of past winners, visit



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