Equity & Inclusion

Equity & Inclusion

The Burke Museum’s greatest strength is our community—the staff, partners, volunteers, and guests who inspire and enrich our ongoing work in interpretation, preservation, research, and education. We strive to offer a welcoming and accessible home for Washington state’s collections of natural history and cultural heritage and for the people who care about them. 

In each aspect of our operations, we commit to patient, attentive relationship-building with Indigenous communities and other historically unheard and marginalized groups that invites and values multiple histories, perspectives, traditions, and contributions. We aspire to progress from collaboration to healing and ideally, to find joy, strength, and resiliency for the museum and for those we serve.

Equity & Inclusion at the Burke

Mission, Vision & Values

three men and two women look closely at open drawers in the cultural collections
Photo: Sven Haakanson/Burke Museum
Photo: Sven Haakanson/Burke Museum


The Burke Museum cares for and shares natural and cultural collections so all people can learn, be inspired, generate knowledge, feel joy, and heal. 


The Burke Museum inspires people to value their connection with all life—and act accordingly. 


We treat each other and the collections and ideas with which we work with RESPECT; we welcome diverse communities and divergent points of view.

We maintain the highest ethical standards with INTEGRITY and openness; we acknowledge the museum’s colonial history, hold ourselves accountable for harm done, and move forward with humility.

We prepare for the future through the STEWARDSHIP of past and present cultural and biodiversity collections; we honor and heal relationships; we care for the community and the environment.

We offer access to create EQUITY and opportunity; we are inclusive of multiple ways of knowing and diverse ways of engaging with museum resources. We listen. We use our place and privilege to work for justice.

We address community interests and needs respectfully through COLLABORATION and consultation; we practice reciprocity and celebrate differences.

We nurture a spirit of CURIOSITY, joy and engagement. 

Through personal stories and unique perspectives, this video series presents community members' interpretation of words like decolonization and diversity, and invites viewers to reflect on their own definitions.