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Keetoowah Museum Values Volunteers

“This year, we want to increase the number of volunteers, and set regular work and meeting days.” – Barbara Girty Foster

By Marilyn Craig | John Hair Cultural Center & Keetoowah Museum TAHLEQUAH - The John Hair Cultural Center and Keetoowah museum held their volunteer orientation session on Friday, April 5, 2024. Seven volunteers attended the meeting. Assistant museum Director Barbara Girty-Foster, along with museum Director Ernestine Berry led the meeting.


After welcoming the group, they began the meeting with the mission statement for the museum, which is:  The John Hair Cultural Center and Keetoowah museum is dedicated to bringing  Keetoowah history, culture, and traditions to the public through educational exhibits and cultural experiences that stimulate discovery, enjoyment, and understanding of traditional lifeways.


Girty-Foster stressed the value of volunteers to the success of our programs. Volunteers have assisted in making craft kits which are sold to schools and other educational programs. They also assist in cleaning, helping prepare food, assisting staff with special meetings, working in the gift shop, and working with school groups. Because the museum will be hosting school groups and children, the museum arranges for background checks to be run on all volunteers.


With a museum, there are specific ways to care for art, artifacts, and archival documents. In 2015, Ernestine Berry formulated the JHCCMs housekeeping plan. The daily housekeeping is provided by the museum staff and housekeepers from the Keetoowah tribe. Of course, cleaning in the history gallery or the archives requires special instructions. Special cleaning supplies are used in the archives. Gloves must be worn, and documents must be put in acid free boxes to preserve them.


“We  have collaborated with volunteers in the past and many of them attended the orientation. This year, we want to increase the number of volunteers, and set regular work and meeting days. The workdays are set based upon the availability of each volunteer. Quarterly meetings are held on the first Friday of February, May, August, and November. We will also need volunteers for our two busiest times of the year, during the Keetoowah Celebration on October 5 and our big Christmas arts and crafts sale featuring our Tradition Keepers and other Keetoowah artisans held the second weekend of December,” said Girty Foster.


If you would like to volunteer, it is not too late to get involved. Volunteers will still be welcomed, and another orientation will be offered as people come on board. If interested, call Girty Foster at 918-871-2794.





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