The towering mound, which was inspired by ancient earthworks constructed across Oklahoma and in eastern North America, was built using 1.7 billion pounds of red earth brought to the site by 42,000 dump truck loads.
Standing before the "big earthwork” Tuesday, Gena Timberman, executive director of the Native American Cultural and Educational Authority, said the question a lot of people were probably asking was, "Why build it?”
"From all across this continent, cultures indigenous to this land have experienced a continuous uprooting and dislocating of our people. We refer to these as ‘times of moving fires,'” Timberman said. "Well, if you look around and you see the construction and what's happening around the state, you see that the fires still burn. The progressive act of building something this challenging in today's world ... is proof that our cultures do endure.”