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Finish what we started



what a 30-second sound bite or “tunnelvision” information says about
the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, it needs to be finished.

In Oklahoma, we are not quitters, and just because it’s taken a long time doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to come to fruition.

Many obstacles have been thrown at it since it started as a state agency. That’s right, folks: It’s a state agency.

it has been tossed around in the political-football arena quite a bit
over the last decade. To complete this project, it was going to take
federal funds, state funds, city funds and a lot of private donations.

we all know, over the last decade, we’ve had cutbacks on federal bonds,
a recession, several political changes in key positions and movement in
the private-donation sector.

Even with all this, we
can still make this happen by matching the $40 million of private
donations with $40 million from the state of Oklahoma.

estimated return is $325 million in the short term, economic growth in
southeast Oklahoma City and a worldwide destination point for visitors
from other countries.

We sometimes forget that just
barely over 100 years ago, this was Indian Territory. All of the tribes
have donated money and pledged collections for special showings, as some
have never before been seen in public.

Smithsonian-comparable museum and event center to honor our state and
nation’s Indian heritage, combined with the National Cowboy &
Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum,
Sam Noble Museum of Natural History — as well as the 45th Infantry
Museum, National Softball Hall of Fame and Oklahoma State Firefighters’
Museum — will make Oklahoma a destination not matched by anyone.

aren’t quitters. Let’s take this political football, take the private
donations, cross the goal line and win this thing. The benefits will be
enjoyed by our kids and grandchildren. The state auditor gave it a clear

Tourism is our third-largest economic sector,
and the legislative session ends this month. Contact your state senators
and representatives and urge them to find a way to do this project.

Now is the time to show vision, leadership and tenacity — because Oklahomans aren’t quitters.

—Glen Cosper, Oklahoma City

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