Exposing Conditions at Native Schools


There are 183 federally-run Bureau of Indian Education schools in the nation, and about a third of these are in poor condition. Some students at BIE schools deal with poorly-insulated classrooms, holes in the roof, rodents, and other issues on a daily basis.

Last year the Star Tribune of Minneapolis ran a series of editorials about conditions in schools run BIE.  Editorial writer Jill Burcum led the Star Tribune’s investigation into the schools in Northern Minnesota and North Dakota. Since the editorial series was published, Burcum was asked to testify at a Congressional hearing that looked at challenges facing Native American schools, and she was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer prize in Editorial Writing.