Skip to main content

Congressmen tour 'horrific' conditions at school on Leech Lake reservation

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A first-hand look at the dilapidated condition of a school on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation Wednesday left a pair of Minnesota Congressmen vowing to push for federal money to upgrade such schools.

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, a Democrat, represents that part of northern Minnesota and Rep. John Kline, a Republican, chairs a House committee on education and workforce development.

The Bemidji Pioneer reports Kline described the conditions at Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School as horrific and said they were even worse than he'd expected.

The Star Tribune says the school that occupies a converted pole barn has faulty heating and cooling systems, a leaky roof, exposed electrical wires, and a substandard sewage system.

Nolan tells Northland's NewsCenter the school is also infested by rodents and bats.

Kline is seeking an additional $60 million in federal money to repair and rebuild reservation schools, but the education panel he chairs does not have jurisdiction over Indian schools.

MPR News says Kline cited a "tangle of bureaucracy" as one reason conditions at schools like Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig have been allowed to deteriorate.

According to the Pioneer, Kline wants to hold Congressional hearings to establish which agency is responsible for the conditions at Indian schools. 63 of the 183 schools in the Bureau of Indian Education system are listed as being in poor condition.

The Star Tribune says if the additional $60 million is allocated, that would bring federal spending on Indian schools to $130 million, which is one-tenth of the estimated amount needed to fix up the schools.

Next Up

Rick Spielman

Spielman: 'That head coach has to have a relationship with that QB'

"I think the No. 1 thing you’re looking for is that head coach has to have a relationship with that quarterback."

Screen Shot 2022-01-26 at 6.36.25 AM

Gallery: France 44 to build two-story addition, rooftop patio

The Minneapolis liquor store and cheese shop is stepping up its events and class offerings.


Ryan Poles picking Chicago creates battle of the rebuilds with Vikings

Both of the Vikings' GM finalists land in the same division looking to return to relevancy.

David Ortiz

Twins congratulate David Ortiz on HOF induction, it ends badly

Twins fans haven't forgotten the biggest mistake in franchise history.

Snowmobile tracks Any Arthur Flickr

Who left the burnt snowmobile on a frozen Minnesota lake?

There wasn't much left beyond the frame and a few other large, metal parts.

T Kline Robbinsdale City Council

Charges: Drunk council member fled police on wrong side of Hwy. 100

The complaint alleges he caused a wrong-way crash, then drove around an officer that tried to stop him.


What does the future hold for the Vikings at linebacker?

Anthony Barr is hitting free agency, and Eric Kendricks is approaching age 30

vehicle car

String of vehicle thefts in St. Paul, most left running unattended

The department is urging people not to leave their car running unattended.

kid hospital doctor

Child COVID hospitalizations reach pandemic-high in northern MN

As omicron surges, more kids are ending up in the hospital.