American Indian Cultural Center In OKC Closer To Matched Funds

Thursday, April 5th 2012, 5:12 pm
By: News 9

An announcement came from the State Capitol Thursday and it could mean the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum is another step closer to a $40 million funding match.

"The $40 million that was raised privately was raised from the Indian tribes, from the city of Oklahoma City and from our leaders around Oklahoma," said Executive Director of the Native American Cultural Authority Blake Wade. "We are delighted to ask them to match that it sounds like, to me, it's positive."

Wade has been working to win over support for the project in the Oklahoma State Legislature as the cost of the project continued to grow and no deadline for completion was set. He said one major goal was to show wide-spread support for the project.

"The legislature needed to see the support of the community and the city and out Indian tribes," explained Wade.

Part of that support was shown by raising the $40 million dollars.

A plan put forth by three state senators, which got the backing of Gov. Mary Fallin on Thursday, called for an audit, a transfer of the project to the center under the Tourism and Recreational Department, as well as an updated plan of completion to be presented to lawmakers.

Wade is on board with the changes to make sure the project gets done.

"If we didn't have the $80 million, we would stop and mothball it right today," said Wade. "It would never have happened."

If they get the funding from the state, Wade predicted the cultural center and museum would open no later than December of 2014.

3/27/2012 Related Story: OKC Council Approves Funds For American Indian Cultural Center