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Oklahoma lawmakers look at ways to finish Indian museum

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

Lawmakers in Oklahoma are still looking for ways to finish the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum.

After running out of money more than two years ago, the facility needs another $80 million. Donors have promised $40 million if the state can come up with the other half.

Sen. Patrick Anderson (R), who requested a study of the matter, plans to introduce a bill to devote $13.6 million in tribal tobacco revenues and $14.7 million in tribal gaming revenues to the museum. That would still leave the state on the hook for more than $10 million.

“We don’t have any tribes in my district, so it’s very difficult for us to accept that we’re going to spend taxpayer dollars for this project if we don’t see a commitment from the tribes as well,” Anderson said at a hearing on Monday, The Oklahoman reported. “This would be an acceptable approach for many legislators.”

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

Other sources, including tribes, have contribute about $8.3 million, the paper said.

Get the Story:
Oklahoma lawmaker offers options to complete American Indian Cultural Center (The Oklahoman 11/11)
State may divert tribal tax money to Native cultural center (The Muskogee Phoenix 11/11)
Legislative panel hears options for finishing American Indian Center in OKC (The Tulsa World 11/11)

Related Stories:
Indian Time: Oklahoma Indian museum expected to be big draw (09/29)
Indian museum in Oklahoma coming up with plan to raise $40M (06/06)
Oklahoma lawmakers consider bill to help finish Indian museum (04/02)
Bill to complete Indian museum in Oklahoma City moves ahead (03/06)