Community , Culture

ON Museum receives $23,000 grant for digitizing museum collection

The Osage Nation Museum is receiving a $23,000 federal grant for a two-year project to train staff on photographing and digitizing the museum collection items.

Museum Curator Hallie Winter announced the grant award for the ONM at a budget meeting with the ON Congressional Culture Committee during the 2017 Tzi-Zho Session in September. Winter said she was exited to share the news as she discussed the museum’s 2018 fiscal year budget before it was approved with the rest of the Nation’s FY 2018 budgets that month.

The grant, totaling $23,609, comes from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which is a Washington, D.C.-based entity that is the federal source of grant income for the approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums across the United States, according to the IMLS website. The IMLS website contains various grant funding opportunities for institutions including those focusing on Native Americans. The ONM’s grant funding is coming from the IMLS’s Museums for American program.

According to an ON Communications news release, the project titled Enduring Culture: Preparing ONM Staff for Collection Digitization will advance the museum staff’s abilities to meet the goals set out in the 25-Year Osage Nation Strategic Plan, Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear’s goals and the goals within the ONM’s annual plan. “The professional development obtained by staff will allow for the implementation of best practices and standards in collections care and will provide the groundwork for future generations of museum employees,” the release stated.

In the release, Winter said: “Through this grant, we have an opportunity to continue our mission of educating the public and preserving our collections by providing training and professional development to our museum staff to fully explore, understand, and optimize our capacity to use the ONM’s collection management system and allow staff to explore best practices for photographing and digitizing museum collections.”

The IMLS grant comes after the ONM – the oldest tribally-owned museum in the United States – participated in a Museum Assessment Program review. The release quoted an IMLS grant reviewer who wrote in a report: “The Osage Nation Museum has made a strong argument in support of this project, which directly addresses needs identified by the MAP and follows the advice of peer reviewers. It is clear that the organization has given careful consideration to their needs assessment and the most pragmatic means of addressing areas needing improvement. Anticipated project results are not only feasible but clearly, build capacity for the organization and will serve as a building block for more ambitious projects. This is a great professional development opportunity for museum staff to use as a launchpad for more complex projects and, hopefully, more opportunities to expand their individual roles.”

For more information on exhibits, special events or collections, visit the ON Museum website at or follow the “Osage Nation Museum” Facebook page online. The museum can be reached at (918) 287-5441 or email