Technical assistance

Wyden and Merkley call the Chemawa school


The boarding school Chemawa Indian School was founded north of Salem, Oregon, in 1885. Tdeclared purpose of the heir was from teach students from the many First Nations tribes living in the Newborn State of Oregon how to live in the new society that was being created around them. The school is still there, between the Salem suburbs of Keizer Station and Hayesville, tucked between Interstate 5 and Highway 99E.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school was closed and only reopened in mid-October, with a decrease in student numbers due to pandemic protocols. Returning students, some descendants of sedentary farmers who were driven from their homes and others went down of the nomads who were driven from their lands entered their school after an encampment of people who had more recently been driven from their homes by a modern displacement called “expulsion”.

The reopening of the school has also revived concerns about how it works.

he’s the only one left Fa government-funded school for Native American students, and Oregon Senators Ron Wyden (D) and Jeff Merkley (D) have write a letter to the Inspector General the United States Interior Department requesting that a list of concerns be investigated, including issues of academic success, student health and safety, staff hiring and treatment issues, and financial transparency. Senators believe that the Government Accountability Office reviews in 2013 and 2014, and a DoI investigation in 2015, did not address these issues, citing a OPB Investigation Report 2017 among other sources.

In their letter, the senators shaved: “In response to questions from the OPB, the Indian Education Bureau acknowledged that there is control over all spending in school budgets, but no detailed financial audits.

TSenators cited the 2015 Home Office report as saying: ” Chemawa Indian School did not properly assess the academic needs of its students …[and was] unable to effectively prioritize its resources to ensure the academic success of its student population. They also noted that the Inspector General’s 2008 and 2014 reviews rated his efforts to prevent violence by and against students and staff as only “adequate”.

The letter asks if Chemawa is included in the section of the Bureau of Indian Education’s 2018 “Strategic Direction” that calls for “technical assistance” to “high-risk schools,” given the ongoing complaints about the misuse of financial resources. Resources.

The senators’ letter says they feel frustrated in their attempts to get basic information from the school, even on issues such as “Is Chemawa’s budget audited?” And “Does the school have a functioning school board?” ”

Senator Merkley told the OPB that in 2019 he had to send the school a written request for a school campus map.

Representing Kurt schrader (D-Canby), whose district includes the Chemawa school, visited the school and announced plans to return in November. He says he hopes his announced visit will make it clear to Director of Indian Education Bureau Tony Dearman, Superintendent of the Chemawa Indian School Amanda Ward, and others in charge, “whom we are still monitoring and so hopeful that progress will be made.”

By John M. Burt


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