It’s Time to Stop Taxpayer Funding of the Indian Museum

November 5, 2012

Findings in the recent performance audit of the Native American Cultural and Education Authority (NACEA) leave no doubt that it’s time to put an end to taxpayer funding for the NACEA, and that lawmakers were right to reject another bond proposal.

The findings of the performance audit are discouraging, especially considering that taxpayers have committed more than $112 million to the project to date. Findings include:


There’s no need for Oklahomans to discuss Solyndra or the Chevy Volt as an example of government waste. Oklahoma taxpayers have a story that hits much closer to home—the NACEA. Given this project’s track record, it is no wonder that private participation was minimal until recent pressure was exerted to leverage more taxpayer funds. No private citizen or private business could survive with this kind of track record.

Although lawmakers rejected more funds for the NACEA during the 2012 legislative session, some are concerned that the vote was influenced by the looming November election and that the lack of an impending election could result in politicians experiencing a “change of heart” in 2013. Taxpayers and citizens will have to remain vigilant.

It’s not often that OCPA agrees with the liberal Tulsa World, but in this instance we do: “No more taxpayer funding for the Indian museum.”

Jonathan Small, a Certified Public Accountant, is OCPA’s fiscal policy director.