White Shield getting cultural center

White Shield, North Dakota (AP) 6-08

Construction is under way on a $1.4 million cultural center in this Fort Berthold Reservation community.

The 9,600-square-foot building is being built on 40 acres of land owned by the Three Affiliated Tribes, said architect Denby Deegan.

The tribe is using a $900,000 grant from U.S. Housing and Urban Development to pay most of the cost of the center, which Deegan said will be designed in the shape of an earth lodge and will focus on Arikara heritage. The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara make up the Three Affiliated Tribes.

The center, which will have a sky dome like an earth lodge, will have three multipurpose rooms, an office for the curator, a kitchen, a conference room, a mechanical room and restrooms.

“The main entry faces east,” Deegan said. “The origin or direction the Arikara came from is the southeast.”

Construction is expected to be done in late July.