Tuesday: Secretary Jewell to Visit Indian School in Minnesota

Date: August 18, 2014 Contact: Jessica Kershaw, Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov

Tuesday: Secretary Jewell to Visit Indian School in Minnesota Visit to Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School part of efforts to reform and improve education services in Bureau of Indian Education schools

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to promote strong, prosperous and resilient communities, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will visit the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School on the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe reservation in Bena, Minnesota on Tuesday. Secretary Jewell, along with Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn, will tour the school to see first-hand the need for additional funding for replacement school construction and will meet with school officials, teachers and students to better understand the shared challenges in delivering high quality educational services. The visit will follow on the heels of Secretary Jewell’s visit Monday with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to the Beatrice Rafferty School in Perry, Maine, which is another school funded by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). In 2013, Jewell and Duncan convened an American Indian Education Study Group to assess systemic issues within BIE-funded schools – one of the lowest performing set of schools in the country – and to propose a comprehensive plan for reform to ensure all students attending BIE-funded schools receive high quality education that honors their heritage. Jewell’s visit builds on a recent Interior Department Secretarial Order to restructure and redesign the BIE over the next two school years, transforming the agency from a sole provider of education into a capacity-builder and service-provider to tribes with BIE-funded schools.   Originally built to house an auto mechanic school and bus garage, the facility was converted into the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig high school in 1984. The deteriorating building, which serves almost 200 students K-12, has multiple safety and security concerns.

WHO: Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior Kevin Washburn, Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs Carri Jones, Chairwoman of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Crystal Redgrave, Superintendent of the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School
WHAT: Secretarial visit to Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in Bena, Minnesota
WHEN: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 3 pm CDT
WHERE: Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School1 5353 Silver Eagle Drive Northwest Chippewa National Forest Bena, Minnesota
RSVP: Media interested in attending the school tour and media availability are encouraged to RSVP here by 5 pm CDT on Monday, August 18.