Beaded bandolier bag crafted by the late Damian Jay McGirt (Seminole/Muscogee) circa 1990. The Seminole Nation Museum purchased the cultural item for its permanent collection through a 2023 Oklahoma Historical Society Heritage Preservation Grant.
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) is proud to announce that the Seminole Nation Museum has been awarded a grant through the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program.
“The Seminole Nation Museum reflects the story of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma and the people of Wewoka,” said Rep. Danny Williams, Seminole. “The Museum records the history of our area, which is extremely valuable. I am thankful for the grant and its benefit to the Museum.”
Seminole Nation Museum received $18,567 for a project titled “Collections Acquisition,” which will help fund a project that will acquire artifacts of material culture for exhibition and research/study so that tribal members and others may better understand the Seminole people. Funds from this grant will be used to commission and display a full set of men’s period Seminole regalia (clothing) from the mid-19th century and purchase a beaded bandolier bag created by the late Damian Jay McGirt (Seminole/Muscogee). Together, these items wilenhance the Museum’s existing “Everlasting Fire” exhibit by exploring the traditional nature of the Seminole people through artifacts representing the Seminole’s “Golden Age.”
“The Seminole Nation Museum is grateful to the Oklahoma Historical Society for continuing to invest in Oklahoma’s museum community through its Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program,” said Richard Ellwanger, executive director. “Funding will empower our museum to acquire artifacts that will relate the traditional nature of the Seminole people and how, after a century and a half of acculturation, they strongly and defiantly retain their Indigenous lifeways. Grant funds will also support the work of living Native artists and foster the creation of a new generation’s body of work.”
The OHS will distribute over $575,000 in grant funds, with projects ranging from collections care and strategic planning to exhibit development and educational programming.
“These grant funds continue to enable local communities to collect, preserve and share their history for future generations of Oklahomans with over 150 projects funded to date,” said Nicole Harvey, director of strategic initiatives and grants administrator for the OHS.
The Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program is a grants-in-aid program offered by the Oklahoma Historical Society to encourage the collection, preservation and sharing of Oklahoma history at the grassroots level in all parts of the state. Open to tribal and municipal governments and not-for-profit historical organizations located in Oklahoma and registered with the Oklahoma secretary of state, this grants program offers funding ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 for projects focused on collections, exhibits and programming. Applications for this
annual program open in the fall and award announcements are made in January. For more information visit www.okhistory.org/grants.