Is American Indian Cultural Center And Museum Worthy Investment? - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Is The American Indian Cultural Center And Museum A Worthy Investment?

Posted: Updated:
Now, seven years after construction began on the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, work has grinded to a halt. Funds have dried up. Now, seven years after construction began on the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, work has grinded to a halt. Funds have dried up.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

It started as a vision for our state almost 20 years ago. A place for Oklahoma to showcase its 39 Indian tribes.

Now, seven years after construction began on the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, work has grinded to a halt. Funds have dried up.

When you drive down the I-40/I-35 corridor, you see a mound of dirt and shell of what's to come.

For the first time since construction stopped I'm allowed inside to see what our money has paid for so far and possibly the last ditch effort to finish it.

Shoshana Wasserman is passionate about her Native American roots. A member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, she's excited about sharing the stories of all 39 Oklahoma tribes. As director of communications and cultural tourism, she's limited to a model, a complete design that's a long ways off from the real thing.

"I believe so strongly in the project that I know it will happen," Wasserman said. "It's just a matter of when it will happen."

Senator Kyle Loveless has made it his mission to complete this project.

"If you're building a house, you don't stop and redo things," Senator Loveless said. "I go ahead and finish it because you don't get a return on your investment."

To finish it, Senator Loveless will need support from his fellow lawmakers, and he faces an uphill battle. Taxpayers have already invested $67,000,000, roughly half of the $150,000,000 project. The Native American Cultural and Educational Authority has secured $40,000,000 more from private donors, if the state matches another $40,000,000.

Some lawmakers, like Senator Cliff Aldridge, believes the state has spent enough.

"Most of the general people of Oklahoma say we've put enough money into it already and we need to stop," said Senator Aldridge.

A lot of people may ask why the tribes running casinos don't foot the bill.

Senator Loveless said that's one of the biggest misconceptions about the project.

"They think it's tribal owned, it's not." Senator Loveless said, "It's tax payer owned. It's a facility of the state of Oklahoma."

However, Senator Loveless said every Oklahoma tribe has contributed.

"I don't think it makes sense not to finish it," Senator Aldridge said. "I think the question obviously comes down to who's going to do it."

Executive Director of NACEA Blake Wade believes it's the state's obligation to get it done now.

"Everyone will love and be so proud of the American Indian Cultural Center when this is up and going, we will pay the state back in real quick time," Wade said. "They'll forget the price tag because we're paying it back."

One reason center officials tell me the price tag is so high, it's built with Smithsonian standards. Many of the art and exhibits will also come from the Smithsonian. If legislators approve the $40,000,000, it's expected to open by the end of 2014.

Learn more about the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum

  • NewsMore>>

  • Retired Oklahoma Paramedic Scammed By Predatory Lender

    Retired Oklahoma Paramedic Scammed By Predatory Lender

    Brian Martin says he received an unsolicited call from a South Carolina phone number last Friday. Martin says that call came two days after he scanned the internet for a $300 to $400 loan.Brian Martin says he received an unsolicited call from a South Carolina phone number last Friday. Martin says that call came two days after he scanned the internet for a $300 to $400 loan.
    A retired Lincoln County Paramedic looking for extra cash says he got scammed by a predatory lender.More >>
    A retired Lincoln County Paramedic looking for extra cash says he got scammed by a predatory lender.More >>
  • Police To Allow Media To View Mixon Security Video

    Police To Allow Media To View Mixon Security Video

    Norman Police refuse to provide copies of the video that allegedly shows an altercation between OU running back Joe Mixon, and OU Junior Amelia Molitor from late July. Norman Police refuse to provide copies of the video that allegedly shows an altercation between OU running back Joe Mixon, and OU Junior Amelia Molitor from late July.
    The media received an open invitation by Norman Police to view that alleged assault video of OU running back Joe Mixon. But, it was made clear no cameras or any other recording devices are allowed. So that means the public won't be allowed to see it yet, and a media law expert calls that an absurd twisting of the Open Records Law.More >>
    The media received an open invitation by Norman Police to view that alleged assault video of OU running back Joe Mixon. But, it was made clear no cameras or any other recording devices are allowed. So that means the public won't be allowed to see it yet, and a media law expert calls that an absurd twisting of the Open Records Law.More >>

Special Features

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

Mobile Alerts

Get breaking news, headlines, weather alerts & more on your cell phone.

Radars

See where weather is happening using our live interactive radars.

Classifieds

Use our free classifieds to find the things you need or sell your items.

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

ESP Interactive
Powered by WorldNow
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
OKLAHOMA CITY'S OWN TM
Oklahoma's Own News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state including Oklahoma City's Own.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014, WorldNow and KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.