The Keetoowah Cherokee Tribe is opening the John Hair Museum and Cultural Center, named after the former United Keetowah Band Chief, this Friday, September 30, at 6 p.m in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. This is taking place during the 61st Annual Keetoowah Band Celebration. Chief George Wickliffe said in a press release that the museum is being named for John Hair because he had devoted most of his life for the Gaduwa Cherokee cause, and unselfishly worked without pay to help continue the Keetoowah Cherokee traditions and preserve the documentation of the tribe throughout their history.
"When I think of all our Keetoowah history, archives and documents that will be preserved and housed in one location, I think of John Hair," said Assistant Chief Charles Locust. "Mr. Hair is the one person that led us here today using his own personal finances to keep the United Keetoowah Band tribe active. Who else is more deserving by honoring John's name on the new Multi Purpose Cultural Center Museum that will house our historical documents. John is one of the leading elders that has kept the tribe active; this is why I felt he would be the perfect individual to be honored.”
The museum's mission statement is to "educate the public about the history, customs and traditions of the Keetoowah Cherokee people." They will keep activities and exhibits current and provide educational experiences for all ages.
Ernestine Berry, interim museum director, said that the John Hair Cultural Center and Museum is "collecting records and papers, ephemera, photos, artifacts, copies of publications and other items dealing with the history of the tribe and its people. Many for the first time, will gain knowledge of the Keetoowah Cherokee historical facts. Additionally, the museum will help to establish and strengthen the Keetoowah Cherokee tribal identity. The initial display is an overview of Keetoowah Cherokee History."
For more information, visit the 61st Annual Keetoowah Band Celebration's site here.