Goodwill Donates Native American Vest to Burke Museum

by Katherine Boury, Seattle Goodwill
January 31, 2013

Seattle Goodwill recently donated a beaded Native American vest to the Burke Museum to be part of their permanent collection.


Seattle Goodwill realized the historical value of this vest and thought it would be most beneficial to the community to donate it to the Burke,” said Catherine McConnell, Vice President of Development & Communications for Seattle Goodwill.  “We are able to support our free job training and education programs with the generous donations from the community which we value very much, but when we see an item of such cultural significance it should be shared with an organization that can preserve it for the community.”

A heavily beaded Native American men's vest was found among items in a trunk donated to Goodwill in 2006.  A local appraisal indicated that the beaded vest on canvas is thread sewn and most likely belonged to the Blackfoot tribe around the period of 1900-1920. It may have been made for the tourist trade and sold at railway stations.

Dr. Robin Wright of Burke Museum said the vest “would become part of the permanent collection and photos of it would be accessible through the Burke’s on-line catalog, in addition to being available to researchers and Native artists who are studying Northern Plains. This is an opportune time for us to expand this collection.”

Those who have objects they’d like to learn more about can bring them to the Burke Museum’s upcoming Artifact ID Day. On Saturday, February 9, 1 - 3:30 pm, Dr. Wright and other experts will be on-hand to help you learn more about what you collect.

Photo courtesy of the Burke Museum.


Katherine Boury is the Communications Manager at Seattle Goodwill.

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