Photo by Roseanne McKee
By Geneva HorseChief-Hamilton, ON Communications
It has been a few short, and very busy, years filled with more than Hallie Winter (Osage) imagined when she left Buffalo, N.Y., in early 2015 to become the new director at the Osage Nation Museum (ONM). In that time, she has organized several successful events and amazing exhibitions, received honors and awards, and completed a museum renovation.
Her successes at ONM have earned her recognition in the museum community and now a position at the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum (AICCM) in Oklahoma City scheduled to open in Spring 2021. At the end of the month she will join the AICCM team where she will be the new collections manager.
“It’s really very bittersweet,” said Winter about her departure from ONM at the end of this month. “I really put my heart and soul into the museum and I would like to thank my Osage community for welcoming and supporting me. It has been a wonderful experience to be back home again and to be involved with my culture.”
She said her first mission at ONM when she arrived was to begin renovating the museum and to update preservation and storage resources and methods. Winter’s second mission was connecting a now updated Osage Museum with the community it served, the Osage people and anyone wanting to learn about the Osage.
It took less than a year to get the museum ready for its first new exhibition and from there the museum took off. Winter said she remembers feeling overwhelmed with the incredible responsibility of these efforts but also feeling so thankful to be given the opportunity to help her people through history preservation and education.
“We are extremely proud that one of our own will represent us at the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma City. [Winter] has done a lot of hard work and brought our small museum into the 21st century making it an excellent destination spot. Her work has been recognized nationally by the American Alliance of Museums and the National Center for American Indian Enterprise (NCAIE) ‘40 Under 40’ 2018 awards. I am proud of Hallie, excited for her new opportunity, but sad that we are losing such an impressive young lady to another museum,” said the Osage Nation Director of Operations Casey Johnson.
Working at the AICCM is an amazing opportunity and will put an Osage perspective and Osage voice at an international destination that is being shaped to redefine Native American history and contributions. The American Indian Cultural Center and Museum mission is to generate awareness and understanding of the history of tribes and their relationship to Oklahoma today.
“We are humbled to bring aboard Hallie Winter to the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum team. She is a highly qualified American Indian museum professional who has accomplished much throughout her career, most recently at the Osage Nation Museum. The Osage people can be assured that one of their own has an important role in developing and sharing the collective American Indian experience in Oklahoma today. We look forward to further strengthening our relationship with the Osage Nation and the other Native nations across the state of Oklahoma and around the country,” said Jim Pepper Henry (Kaw citizen and Muscogee Creek), AICCM CEO & Director.
Winter said it was hard to find the words to express how much she has learned and how humbled she feels to have been the director at ONM. She said the opportunity brought insight to her life that could only have been gained by living and working with her people. “Being the director of ONM has allowed me to delve deep into Osage history and to be an active member in our community. This position has allowed me to grow both personally and professionally and I will be forever grateful to the Nation for giving me this opportunity. I’m very proud of the work I have completed here and I am confident that the ONM is set up to succeed in the future and to grow.”
About the Osage Nation Museum
The premiere destination to experience Osage history, art, and culture
Visit the Osage Nation Museum (ONM) in historic Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Our continuously changing exhibits convey the story of the Osage people throughout history and celebrate Osage culture today. Highlights include an extensive photograph collection, historical artifacts, and traditional and contemporary art. Founded in 1938, the ONM is the oldest tribally owned museum in the United States.
Admission and parking is free.
Location: 819 Grandview Ave., Pawhuska, Okla. 74056.