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The Church Donates $2 Million to First Americans Museum

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is donating US$2 million to the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City to help Native American Indian tribes learn more about their ancestral roots.

Elder Kyle S. McKay of the Seventy and several Native American Church members presented the gift during a reception at the museum on Sunday, October 17, 2021.

The First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The museum, which honors many Native American Indian Tribes, will use the gift to build a FamilySearch center and fill other needs. The center will include digital interactive exhibits for Native American families. Many will be able to learn more at FamilySearch.org. FamilySearch is the Church’s nonprofit genealogy arm.

James Pepper Henry, director of First Americans Museum, said that “Native Americans have been moved around so much from different places that a lot of our families have lost contact with each other. Having a center here is a way for us to connect our families together again.”

Multiple tribal representatives attended the reception at the museum.

“First Americans feel the yearning to find their ancestors, and we feel with our FamilySearch technology we can make this happen,” Elder McKay said. “We are donating our expertise and consultants who can build a center suited to the needs of the museum.”

President Russell M. Nelson said the new FamilySearch center in Oklahoma “will make it possible for visitors to the museum to receive help in preserving personal histories, searching for ancestors and building their own family trees.” He also said the First Americans Museum “should remind each of us of our own ancestors and of our deep gratitude for those who have come here from many different countries and traditions.”

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