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Choctaw Nation unveils plans for new cultural center

DURANT, Okla. – While officials in Oklahoma City are still working on a Native American cultural center, the Choctaw Nation is getting ready to create its own facility.

On Wednesday, officials in Durant broke ground for the much-anticipated Choctaw Nation Cultural Center, which will be on Choctaw Rd., just northwest of Hwy 69/75.

“Chahta Nowvt Aya,” said Chief Gary Batton, offering the name of the center in the Choctaw language, “has been in the works for many years. The reason it has taken so long is that it was important to get it right. We want the Choctaw people to be proud of this.”

Chahta Nowvt Aya translates to ‘Choctaw Journey’ in the Choctaw language.

Organizers say the cultural center will be approximately 98,000 square feet and will feature two exhibit halls, an art gallery, auditorium, children’s area, classrooms, offices, gift shop and cafe.

The main facility will contain a four-part story focusing on the history of the Choctaw tribe from ancestral times to current day.

The surrounding site will also include a stickball field, living village and a traditional mound.

Construction is expected to be complete by Jan. 23, 2020.