News 9 - December 29, 2023 8:09 am


A $2 million deal between the First Americans Museum and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was dissolved shortly after it was announced in 2021. The dissolution of the deal, first reported by the Oklahoman, has recently resurfaced because of a podcast.

The church had donated the $2 million to fund a genealogy center for Native Americans at the First Americans Museum. A celebration of this donation was held in October, by November the project was called off.

After two years of silence, questions about the project and its ending have surfaced on social media after a podcast brought it to light.

“Mormonish Podcast,” available on YouTube, published an episode in October investigating the deal between the church and the museum. The Salt Lake Tribune subsequently reported on the dissolved deal.

“In 2021, FAM considered developing a genealogy center on its campus,” the museum’s chief executive, James Pepper Henry said in a statement. “After careful deliberation, it was decided that was beyond the scope of the museum’s mission. This decision was respected by all parties concerned and is no longer relevant.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints runs a nonprofit, FamilySearch, which is considered the world’s largest genealogy database.


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