Special Project: Separate and Unequal

This four-part series was published on consecutive Sundays in 2014, was reported and written by editorial writer Jill Burcum, with input from the Star Tribune Editorial Board. News photographer David Joles, who traveled with Burcum to northern Minnesota and South Dakota, shot the photos.

Having slept poorly the night before and arrived to a cold classroom Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig High School student Irvin Kingbird, a senior, curled up with a

PART 1: Indian schools, a nation's neglect

Part one of four parts: Better futures aren't built by indifference, but that's how the federal government treats dilapidated tribal schools to which it owes resources. The results are tangible.
Randall Kingbird, a junior at the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig High School on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota, sits in the office of coun

PART 2: 'We're going to school in a tin can'

April 2, 2015
Students benefit culturally from their education at Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig but deserve better surroundings. The state and private funding sources can help.
During a girls volleyball game, a girl and her friend relax in the bleachers in the gymnasium Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, at Little Wound k-12 school on

PART 3: Pine Ridge schools: Amid beauty, deterioration

April 2, 2015
The federally neglected school buildings at Pine Ridge are a blight at the very center of a culture that wants better.

PART 4: While tribal schools suffer, military schools prosper

April 2, 2015
While Bureau of Indian Education facilities languish, another set of federally run schools is upgrading to the state of the art.

How to build a new future for American Indian schools

April 2, 2015
Fixing the neglected facilities will likely take a multipronged push.

Jan. 23: Momentum builds to help tribal school in Minnesota

April 2, 2015
State efforts likely needed to help Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig High School.

Feb. 9: Indian schools need a boost from GOP

April 2, 2015
Kline is well-positioned to find best solutions for BIE schools.

Feb. 23: Kline calls for action on tribal school construction

April 2, 2015
GOP congressman calls BIE construction delays "appalling."

March 2: Smart proposals to help Minnesota's Indian students

April 2, 2015
Dayton should add group's proposals to his supplemental budget.