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Congressional Hearing On Chemawa Lays Out Possible Fixes To 'Total Crisis'

May 16, 2019
In The News

“Total crisis” was the phrase Sonya Moody-Jurado used in her Capitol Hill testimony to describe Chemawa Indian School, an off-reservation boarding school managed by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Education (BIE).

Moody-Jurado should know the school’s problems; she chaired the school board from 2015 to 2018.

Chemawa leaders’ failure to protect the basic health and safety of children in the school’s care was one of the central themes during the two-hour hearing before the Indigenous Affairs Subcommittee of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee. OPB’s reporting on the Salem school in 2017 and subsequent questioning by members of Oregon’s congressional delegation prompted the hearing.

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., noted that students dying after being sent home remains a problem. She spoke of Robert Tillman, a teenager who died last year after being expelled from Chemawa.