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Oklahoma lawmakers debate future of unfinished Indian museum

The American Indian Cultural Center and Museum sits unfinished in Oklahoma City. Photo from AICCM

The American Indian Cultural Center and Museum needs another $80 million but lawmakers in Oklahoma can't agree to come up with the needed funds.

Donors have pledged $40 million if the state comes up with the rest. “There’s an enormous responsibility to ensure this doesn’t fall apart," Blake Wade, the center's executive director, told The Muskogee Phoenix.

But House Speaker Jeffrey Hickman (R) said his Republican colleagues don't agree on a solution. Some even want the state to walk away from the project.

Sen. Patrick Anderson (R) has introduced a bill to devote tribal gaming revenues to the project. Another bill would eliminate the Native American Cultural and Educational Authority, which oversees the museum, in order to save some funds.

So far, the state has spent about $71.1 million on the museum, The Oklahoman reported last November. Another $15.7 million has come from the federal government.

Get the Story:
Unfinished Native cultural center poses problem for Legislature (The Muskogee Phoenix 1/22)

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