The Native American Cultural and Education Authority has approved plans for a $135 million museum and American Indian center in Oklahoma.
The design is said to include grand halls with sweeping promenades and courtyards and interactive exhibits, featuring natural elements - earth, wind, fire and stones from areas in which Native Americans lived when they were forced to walk to the Oklahoma Territory in what was later described as the Trail of Tears.
The first phase of construction, which was reported to have started in December, will be completed in 2009.
According to William Waites, proprietor of web sites featuring Native American material culture, ZuniLink.com, Native-JewelryLink.com and Native-PotteryLink.com , "This is an important development that will recognize the trials and tribulations suffered by the continent's original inhabitants as European influences moved south and west. We owe our indigenous hosts more than we ever can repay. The least we can due is recognize their courage and indomitable nature."