Blessing the move to the New Burke

January 4, 2018
Burke Museum
Cedar branches sit in water with water droplets surrounding them

Cedar branches used in the blessing.
Photo: Burke Museum

As the Burke prepares to pack and move millions of objects to its new facility (opening 2019), the museum’s Native American Advisory Board recommended holding a ceremony to bless and protect the people involved in building and moving to the New Burke.

Older woman with cedar branches as staff stand around in circle

Marilyn Wandry (Suquamish) with cedar used in the brushing ceremony.
Photo: Burke Museum

Tribal elders from across Washington offered a cedar brushing ceremony to acknowledge the commitment of the Burke community during the move. Cedar holds significant importance for many regional tribal communities—it is unbreakable, water-resistant, bends with the winds and is believed to provide strength.

Two young women stand while cedar is brushed over their heads

Burke staff and volunteers and members of the New Burke construction crew came together for the blessing ceremony.
Photo: Burke Museum

Burke staff and volunteers and members of the New Burke construction crew came together for the ceremony. 

As each person was brushed with cedar collected from trees at the University of Washington campus, dipped in water gathered by Puyallup and Quinault youth from Swan Creek, we took a moment to reflect on the work ahead and humbly accept the blessing offered by the elders.

Burke staff and volunteers and members of the New Burke construction crew came together for the blessing ceremony.
Photo: Burke Museum

Burke staff and volunteers and members of the New Burke construction crew came together for the blessing ceremony.
Photo: Burke Museum

Burke staff and volunteers and members of the New Burke construction crew came together for the blessing ceremony.
Photo: Burke Museum

Burke staff and volunteers and members of the New Burke construction crew came together for the blessing ceremony.
Photo: Burke Museum

Burke staff and volunteers and members of the New Burke construction crew came together for the blessing ceremony.
Photo: Burke Museum

The Burke is sincerely grateful to Rex Buck (Wanapum), Connie McCloud (Puyallup Tribe of Indians), Randy Lewis (Colville) and Marilyn Wandry (Suquamish) for their generosity of time and spirit in offering this blessing.

Cedar used in the cedar-brushing ceremony.
Photo: Burke Museum

Burke staff and volunteers and members of the New Burke construction crew came together for the blessing ceremony.
Photo: Burke Museum

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