News Release

United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, yesterday held an oversight hearing on “Preparing to Head Back to Class: Addressing How to Safely Reopen Bureau of Indian Education Schools.”

“We are approaching the time of year when students across the country usually return to school. However, this year unlike years past, brings a new dynamic into the mix with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Hoeven. “In total, for Fiscal Year 2020, Congress has appropriated $1.9 billion for the operation of Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools. The Bureau of Indian Education has at least four ongoing consultations on spending the money from the CARES Act and reopening of schools. We hope today’s hearing can better guide Bureau of Indian Education in moving forward to safely reopen schools.”

The Committee received testimony from two panels:

Panel I

  • Mr. Tony Dearman, Director, Bureau of Indian Education, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC

Panel II

  • Ms Marita Hinds, President, National Indian Education Association, Washington, DC (Virtual Witness)
  • Mr. David Yarlott, Jr., Chair, American Indian Higher Education Consortium, Alexandria, VA (Virtual Witness)

For witness testimony and video of the oversight hearing, click here.

United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs - banner lg