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Editorial: Where were feds when tribe needed help?

"The Crow Creek Tribal School's gym has been closed for more than a year because the Bureau of Indian Affairs decided the building was unsafe.

Just last year, the state Fire Marshal's Office condemned the entire Stephan campus of the Crow Creek Tribal School. But nothing happened because the state had no authority to close a tribal school.

Now, by the grace of God, four girls were saved from a fire in a 40-year-old dorm at the school.Until the dorm is torn down - it's destroyed and a danger to anyone nearby - the school must remain closed. Without the dorm or a replacement, some students won't be able to attend the school.

That's brought encouraging words from our congressional delegation - Sens. John Thune and Tim Johnson and Rep. Stephanie Herseth - as well as Gov. Mike Rounds.But where have any of these people been for the past 25 years? That's how long Crow Creek Tribal Chairman Duane Big Eagle says he's been pressing for money to replace or repair the school buildings, which date to the 1930s.

Where were they last year, when Big Eagle met with BIA and other federal officials in both new Mexico and Washington, D.C., asking for help?"

Get the Story:
Editorial: Schoolchildren in danger (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 5/2)

Relevant Links:
Crow Creek Tribal School -

Related Stories:
Crow Creek Tribe needs $2.2M to replace dormitory (4/29)
Wind stirs up another fire at Crow Creek school (4/28)
Crow Creek Tribe to replace dorm destroyed by fire (4/27)
School employees describe rescue of girls from fire (4/26)
Girls saved from fire at Crow Creek school dorm (4/25)