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Interior Secretary to visit Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig school

BENA, Minn. -- 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, Minn., on Tuesday.

Jewell, along with Kevin Washburn, assistant secretary for Indian Affairs, will tour the school to see first-hand the need for additional funding for replacement school construction as well as meet with school officials, teachers and students.

The visit will follow 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.

In 2013, Jewell and Duncan convened an American Indian Education Study Group to assess issues with BIE-funded schools – one of the lowest performing set of schools in the country – and to propose a reform plan to ensure students receive quality education that also  honors their heritage. The Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig high school originally was built to house an auto mechanic school and bus garage and has served as a school since 1984.