Tulsa City Budget Allocates $100,000 For First Phase of Mass Graves Investigation

Friday, October 11th 2019, 7:57 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

The City of Tulsa is investing tens of thousands of dollars into the search for possible mass graves from the 1921 Race Massacre.

The city will pay the University of Oklahoma after archaeologists are finished with their work in Tulsa.

The city set aside $100,000 for the mass graves investigation, under the streets and storm water department, which falls under the general fund.

City leaders said the Oklahoma Archaeological Survey gave an initial quote for about $56,000, but that number could change once all the work is done.

OAS Director Amanda Regnier said the money OU is paid will go into a research fund.

Regnier said it will be used to help undergraduate students go to a field school in archaeology next summer somewhere in Oklahoma.

The city is also helping with travel expenses for two experts coming into Tulsa during the investigation -- one is from Michigan, the other from Florida.

"We're making sure that the money spent for this investigation is actually going to work to help further the process. We review all of those invoices. We are on site with the experts, and we provide that sort of oversight and accountability for the funds that are being spent,” Deputy Mayor Amy Brown said.

Archaeologists will wrap up their work at Oaklawn Cemetery on Monday.

They will also spend a few hours scanning the trail area between the cemetery and the IDL after that area was brought to the city's attention this week.