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Agua Caliente tribal chairman details new cultural center

Center will be located in downtown Palm Springs

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PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians announced plans for a 5.8 acre cultural center in downtown Palm Springs.

"You can go through the museum and learn about the creation story, learn about the waters, learn about our history," Chairman Jeff Grubbe told KESQ News Channel 3's and CBS Local 2's Katie Widner.

The cultural center will feature a nearly 48,000 square-foot Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, a new Agua Caliente Spa and Bathhouse that celebrates the Tribe's ancient Agua Caliente Hot Mineral Spring, a Gathering Plaza, gardens and an Oasis Trail.

"This new cultural center provides an incredible opportunity to share and celebrate our history, culture and traditions with this community and visitors from around the world," Grubbe said.  "Each of the 566 federally recognized tribes throughout this country has a distinct culture that includes traditions, language, historic clothing and housing styles as well as historical food and medicine preparations. We want to share that with others as well as acknowledge the fact that we are alive and well today living in the modern world."

The cultural center will include outdoor activity spaces, including a Gathering Plaza adjacent to the Agua Caliente Hot Mineral Spring, originally known as Sec he (the sound of boiling water), which serves as a commemorative focal point for the new development. 

The Tribe will build and own the Cultural Center while the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum organization will run the day-to-day operations of the Museum sharing the stories of Native people.

Groundbreaking is scheduled in early 2018 with a two-year construction cycle. Most of the details remain under wraps, but Grubbe said there are many more revelations to come.

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