Okla. Native Caucus supports Indian center
OKLAHOMA CITY –The 18-member House Native American Caucus has announced support of a planned American Indian Cultural Center along the banks of the Oklahoma River near downtown.
Rep. Seneca Scott, of Tulsa and a member of the caucus, said on April 26 that it’s the first time in recent years that the caucus, which includes Republicans and Democrats, has unanimously endorsed a project.
The state agency overseeing the center said it has secured $40 million in private funds to complete the project and is looking for an additional $40 million from the state. However, some legislators have criticized the museum’s estimated $171 million costs and House Speaker Kris Steele said there is little support for a state bond issue to help fund its completion.
J. Blake Wade, executive director of the Native American Cultural and Educational Authority, which is developing the cultural center, said the center’s economic impact for the state is projected to be $3.8 billion during the first 20 years. It is also projected that the center will provide $150 million in state tax revenues.
Tourism is the third-largest industry in Oklahoma with a $6.1 billion economic impact.
“We have learned through years of studies that Oklahoma’s cultural tourism industry has great potential for economic development and job creation,” Wade said. “Those studies revealed that in order to be successful in cultural tourism, we have to focus on two of the things that make Oklahoma unique: the prevailing presence of cowboy and Western heritage and American Indian cultures.”
Wade added that the caucus’ message to the Oklahoma Legislature is to work on capturing more of the tourist market and begin realizing the state’s investment.
“It’s more than just another tourist attraction. This will position Oklahoma as an epicenter for cultural tourism,” he said. “European and Asian travelers are fascinated with Western heritage and American Indian cultures. Now is the time to invest in the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, Oklahoma's newest international attraction.”
ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ ᏗᎦᏚᎲᎢ - ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏁᎳᏚᎢ ᎢᏯᏂᎢ ᎠᏁᎳ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᎠᎹᏰᎵ ᎤᎾᏙᎩᏯᏓ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᏄᏅᏁᎸ ᏓᏂᎫᏍᏛᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎹᏰᎵ ᎠᏴᏫᏯ ᏂᏧᎾᏛᏁᎸᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏚᎾᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏟᏗᏢᎢ ᏚᏩᏢᎥᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ ᎡᏉᏂ ᏚᏪᏴᎢ ᏗᎦᏚᎲᎢ ᎾᎥᎢ.
ᏗᎦᎳᏫᎩᏃ . Seneca Scott , ᏔᎳᏏ ᎡᎯ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏙᎩᏯᏓ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬ ᎨᏫ , ᎤᎵᏁᏣ ᎫᏬᏂ 26 ᎯᎸᏍᎩᏃ ᏂᏓᏕᏘᏯ ᎤᎶᏒᎿ ᎾᏊᏃ ᎢᎬᏱᏱᎢ ᎤᎾᏙᎩᏯᏓ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎩ , ᎾᏍᎩ ᎬᏩᎾᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᏴᏜ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᎦᎾᏩ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎣᏏ ᎤᏂᏰᎸᏅᎢ ᏱᎬᏛᏁᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ .
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏩᏥᏂ ᎠᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᎦᏎᏍᏗ ᏳᏪᏓ ᏚᏂᏴᎢ $ 40 ᎢᏳᏩᏗᏅᏓ ᏧᏤᏟᏓ ᎠᏕᎳ ᏓᎲᎢ ᎤᏂᏍᏆᏗᏍᏗ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏚᏄᎪᏛᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏓᏂᎦᏖᏃ ᎢᏗᎦᏟᏌᏅᎢ $ 40 ᎢᏳᏩᏗᏅᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎤᎵᏍᎪᏟᏔᏅᎢ . ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ , ᎢᎦᏓᏃ ᏗᏂᎳᏫᎩ ᎥᏝ ᎣᏏ ᏯᏂᏰᎸᏍᎨᎢ $ 171 ᎢᏳᏩᏗᏅᏓ ᏙᏗᎵᎬᏩᏝᏂᏒᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎠᏍᏆᏂᎪᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎦᎵᏦᏕᎢ ᎦᏬᏂᏏᏙᎢ Kris Steele ᎢᏳᏪᏓ ᎢᎠᎭᏃ ᏍᏗᎢ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᏈᏱᏍᎩ ᎤᎵᏍᎪᏟᏔᏅ ᎠᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ ᎤᏂᏍᏆᏗᏍᏗᎢ .
J. Blake Wade , ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏌᏕᎩ ᏗᎦᎳᏫᎩ ᎠᏓᏎᎮᎮᎯ ᎾᎿ ᎠᎹᏰᎵ ᏁᎯᏴ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎨᎳ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᏗᎳᏏᏛᎢ , ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏃᎷᏩᏘᎭ Ꮎ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᏰᎵᎢ , ᏱᎦᏪᏓᏃ Ꮎ ᎠᏰᎵᎢ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎤᎵᏍᏕᎶᏙᏗ ᏓᎲᎢ $ 3.8 ᎢᏯᏔᎳᏗᏅᏛ ᎠᏟᎠᎵᏒᎢ 20 ᎢᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ . ᎾᏍᎩᏊᏍᎩᏂ ᎠᏰᎵᎢ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎠᎵᏍᎪᏟᏗᏍᎨᏍᏗ $ 150 ᎢᏳᏆᏗᏅᏓ ᎠᏕᎳᎭ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᎫᏴᏗ .
ᎢᎾ ᏗᏁᏙᎯ ᏗᏂᏍᏕᎸᎯᏙᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏦᎢᏁ ᏪᏋᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏱᎦᎢ $ 6.1ᎢᏯᏔᎳᏗᏅᏛ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ . “ᏧᏕᏘᏴᎯᎶᏓ ᎣᎩᎶᏒ ᎣᎦᏕᎶᏆᎡᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ ᏂᏧᎾᏛᏁᎸᏍᏔᏅ ᎢᎾ ᏗᏁᏙᎯ ᏗᏂᏍᏕᎸᎯᏙᎯ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎣᏌᏂᏭ ᎤᏙᎷᏩᏛᏗᎢ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎤᏙᏢᏗᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎨᎢ Wade . “ᎾᏃ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎾᏄᎪᏫᏒᎢ ᎤᏂᎯᎸᏍᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮎ ᏂᏧᎾᏛᏁᎸᏍᏔᏅ ᎢᎾ ᏗᏁᏙᎯ ᏗᏂᏍᏕᎸᎯᏙᎯ , ᏔᎵᏃ ᎤᏓᎴᎢ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏗᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗ ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ ᎤᏤᏟᏓᎭ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗᎢ : ᎾᏊᏃ ᏥᎩ ᎠᏁᏙᎲᎢ ᏗᏂᏍᎳᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏕᎵᎬᎢ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎹᏰᎵ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᏊ .”
Wade Ꮓ ᎠᏠᏯᏍᏗᎲᎢ Ꮎ ᏗᎾᏙᎩᏯᏗᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎩ ᎧᏃᎮᏢᏅᎢ ᎤᎾᏛᎪᏗᎢ ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ ᏩᎲᏂ ᏗᎦᎳᏫᎩ ᏧᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎤᏩᏟᏐᏗᎢ ᎤᎪᏗ ᎢᎾ ᏗᏁᏙᎯ ᏗᏍᏕᎸᎯᏓᏍᏗ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎪᏢᏍᎬᎢ .
“ ᎤᎪᏛᏃ ᏏᏅ ᏐᎢᏊ ᎢᎾ ᏗᏁᏙᎯ ᏗᏂᏍᏕᎸᎯᏙᎯ ᎤᏂᎪᏩᏛᏗᎢ. ᎾᏊᏃ ᎠᏰᏟ ᏯᏥᎧᎲᎩ ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎢᎾ ᏗᏁᏙᎯ ᏗᏂᏍᏕᎸᎯᏙᎯ,” ᎾᏊᏃ ᎠᏟᎢᎶᎯᎭ ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᏙᏗᎢ ᎤᎪᏗ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎤᏙᎷᏩᏛᏗᎢ ᎾᎿᎢ ᎠᎹᏰᎵ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯᎢ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎠᏍᏆᎪᏛᎢ , ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ ᏩᏤᎯᏴ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏚᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎬᎪᏩᏛᏗ .”