Durant, Ok – The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma today announced that its new Choctaw Cultural Center, which tells the 14,000-year-history of the Chahta people and represents more than a decade of research and work in creating the space, will officially open July 23 on the prairie land of southeastern Oklahoma in Durant. Featuring rich interactive and immersive exhibitions and engaging programs and activities, the Choctaw Cultural Center showcases the Nation’s treasured history and culture, and serves as a place to gather, learn, and preserve the Choctaw spirit and way of life.
“The Cultural Center was designed as a living, breathing space that encapsulates centuries of the Chahta Nowvt Aya, or Choctaw Journey,” said Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Chief Gary Batton. “From the replica of an ancient spiritual mound to state-of-the-art exhibits showcasing our history and culture, this is a place for tribal members to connect with and preserve our past and a place for our neighbors and friends to better understand the history that has shaped the Choctaw Nation. It is an important story to tell and one we are proud to share.”
The building is situated on 22-acres, is over 100,000 square feet and houses two exhibit halls, an art gallery, auditorium, children’s area, classrooms, offices, gift shop, café and more. Among its many features is a Permanent Exhibit Hall with a four-part story focusing on the history of the Choctaw tribe from ancestral times (circa 1250) to current day in Oklahoma. To help tell the story are “live casts” of living Choctaw tribal members created based on 3-D scans of their faces and bodies. Some of the life-like figures scattered throughout show how the tribe lived “before contact” while others display how they live in contemporary times.