Lawmakers and tribe celebrate new Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School
A small school with humble beginnings is getting the national attention it deserves. Last week, federal lawmakers descended upon Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School located in Bena for an official ground-breaking ceremony. The event was touted by U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee Member Al Franken (D-Minn.), along with Congressional Native American Caucus Co-Chair Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) and Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) as the culmination of their years-long fight to replace what has been a dangerously dilapidated school and build a new high school.
Founded in 1975 as an alternative school to serve 35 Ojibwe students from Leech Lake Reservation, Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig opened in response to parents’ concerns that public schools were not meeting the students academic and cultural needs.
Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig was named in honor of Chief Hole in the Day, a local Ojibwe who lived in the Bena area at the turn of the century and was known to have fought for the land, the people and especially for the future of native children.