Larry Echohawk’s Empty Promises.

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Quote from Larry Echohawk:“We have also made strides in improving the delivery of education to Indian country, both within the BIE’s 183 schools and two universities that serve more than 42,000 Indian students, and within the traditional public school system that serves 95 percent of Indian students”.

Really, Mr.Echohawk ? Ninety one percent of Haskell Indian Nations University students in Lawrence, Kansas are not graduating, crimes are high for such a small campus, and when Dr. Linda Sue Warner was detailed off of  The Haskell campus, leadership at Haskell went with her. Since, then, on almost a week by week, basis, Haskell has had new “Acting administers” and we are using that term loosely.

Quote from Larry Echohawk:“Improved public safety in Indian country is important to establish a climate where students can focus on their education and economic growth can take root. That is why we launched the most aggressive recruiting and hiring effort for BIA officers in history, to bridge the serious gap in officer staffing in Indian country”.

Improved public safety in Indian Country, should that not include Haskell Indian Nations University? The very university that Mr. Echohawk is in charge of ?  Or do American Indian students not count? Haskell’s safety officer, Debra Thompson is now gone from Haskell, her talents and skills lost to Haskell, forever. Is there now yet another acting???

Mr. Echohawk’s big tears and promises of help for Haskell apparently had no true meaning. What has he done for Haskell and Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI)? Detailed of one the best President’s Haskell Indian Nations University ever had, along with one of it’s best safety officers’ and teachers like Dr. Russell Blackbird, let graduation rates plumb it to almost zero, students are being raped and one even put into a coma, put Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn in charge of  The Bureau of Indian schools.

Let Southwestern Indian Polytechnic lose their accreditation!

Mr. Echohawk and Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn cut loose a lot of Haskell’s best employees and held on to a lot of the not so good ones, including it’s Board of Regents speared headed by George Tiger (for more information on Mr.Tiger go to: The voices of Courage .com) a lot of the board members (not all) only hold two years degrees, if that, and have been sitting this board for many years.

What do they do? Their traveling expenses to come to Haskell are paid for by Haskell, along with lodging and board (can some empty dorm rooms not to found for them? Can they not eat at Cutis)?  They are paid for their time there and ran to Wal-Mart by Haskell employees. All the while crying to The Haskell students, Haskell has no money!

What does Haskell’s Board of Regents do for the Haskell students? Take away four year degree programs and sometimes ride on a float….too bad they don’t just float off of the Haskell campus.

Who put Larry Echohawk in charge? Oh, yes, President Barack Obama, we would like to thank him too.

How big is a mess, when U.S. Senators have to become involved and try to clean it up?

By the way we sincerely want to thank Senator Pat Roberts who continues trying to clean up Larry Echohawk’s and Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn’s mess.

Keep crying Mr. Echohawk…your tears mean nothing anymore.

Larry Echohawk’s quotes and full article can be found at:

haskellnews commentary

October 30, 2010.

George Tiger and Haskell Indian Nations University President’s Office cancels Board of Regents meeting.

George Tiger and The Haskell’s President’s Office ( the acting this week is Clyde Peacock) has canceled the November 2010 Board of Regents meeting due to a lack of quorum.

Funny, we thought you had to actually be at the meeting to see if a quorum exists or not. Besides if George Tiger is going to be there, he thinks highly enough of himself to be the quorum. Just ask his own tribal members at The Creek Nation. Link:

Not that the Haskell Board of Regents needs to meet. All they seem to accomplish is spending the schools money and canceling four year programs.

Never mind all of the current problems Haskell is now facing, the crime on campus, the lack of graduates, and no leadership whatsoever at the school.

George Tiger is right, this particular board of regents needs too stay where they are at…. at home.

haskellnews commentary October 28, 2010.

President Barack Obama takes on crimes against American Indian Women.

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President Barack Obama signed an act into law last July, The Tribal Law and Order Act. A federal law aimed at combating crime in Indian country.

*“The statistics in Indian Country regarding violence against women are disturbing to say the least. It’s incumbent upon us to take appropriate action,” said Wizipan Garriott, policy adviser to Assistant Interior Secretary of Indian Affairs.”

President Obama and Larry Echohawk may want to take a look at Haskell Indian Nations University, in Lawrence, Kansas. A government run school, that they are in charge of. What are Haskell’s statistics  on crime against women and the crime on Haskell’s campus in general? Are the current administrators reporting it to the F.B.I. as required under Compliance of The Clery Act? Link:

We want to acknowledge The Lawrence Journal World for bringing to light the latest in a long list of crimes at Haskell.

We also want to acknowledge any Haskell staff who helped the rape victim last Saturday nmorning and the Lawrence Police Officers who responded to the call.

*Link to the full story :

Haskellnews commentary October 27, 2010

Did the rape victim at Haskell Indian Nations University leave the school?





Did the rape victim from Saturday night’s attack leave Haskell Indian Nations University? If so where is her attacker? Does he remain in the dorms? Is this becoming status quo for Haskell? Are students who get in trouble there being told not to worry about it, because the head of Haskell’s student court will work with them? Are Haskell’s current administrators choosing to keep the wrong students at Haskell?

A brutal rape, four arrests in one night, all on the small campus of Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. One could argue it can happen anywhere, but for such a small campus as Haskell’s, four arrests in one night, is a lot, isn’t it?

Could it be that some Haskell housing staff and the current administrators are not doing their jobs? Are some housing staff allowed to bring their friends to work with them for entire shifts? Are those friends allowed to check the status of the dorm? While the employee makes quilts?

Or could it be that this all starts at the top? From President Barack Obama who is in charge of The Bureau of Indian Education, down to Larry Echohawk, Keith Moore, Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn, to Haskell’s current administrators ( Venida Chenault) and Board of Regents ( George Tiger).

Shouldn’t Kansas Educators be yelling from the roof tops? After all Haskell is in Kansas is it not? Can government officials, educators, and the public at large simply turn their heads and look away because this is a government school for American Indians?

Did Larry Echohawk cry big tears at a talk he gave at Haskell over a year ago promising to make things better there, never to be heard from again? Now, he has a real reason to cry. Someone’s daughter, friend, granddaughter, Haskell student was brutally raped at one of his schools Saturday night. The much talked about change never came. Now at least one Haskell student is scarred for life.

It is against federal law for campus crimes not to be reported to the Are Haskell’s current administrators reporting the campus crimes? If not they are putting any Haskell student who receives federal student aid in jeopardy from being cut from that program.

The boarding school mentality of keeping everything bad that happens at Haskell a secret, is coming to a swift end.

It is our hope that Senator Pat Roberts is still working on his uphill battle to bring real leadership to Haskell, but, wait, could it be too late for that?

haskellnews commentary Oct 26, 2010.

Haskell Indian Nations University student arrested on rape charges. Is Haskell a dangerous place for students?

A Haskell student was arrested at Haskell Indian Nations University on charges of Forced rape, Criminal sodomy, Criminal restraint and theft. Is Haskell a dangerous place for students?

Maybe, now, whoever, the current “leadership” at Haskell is this week? Can get certain dorm staff to actually work? Current “leadership” Are you going to encourage Public Servants to come to work and do nothing? Except …chat with their friends all night? Make quilts and while they are at it why not have a drink? Instead they need to be patrolling the halls and keeping on eye on what is happening in the dorms. Isn’t a big problem at Haskell, that the dorm staff and others do not see themselves as public servants to the students?

Maybe, they need to stop worrying about room checks and start doing staff checks.

When is the last time the current leadership walked the dorms late at nights or early in the mornings? Who is Haskell’s safety officer now that Deborah Thompson is gone? Has Haskell made a report to the folks at Jeannie Clery yet?

From The Kansas University web site: Link: The Clery Act Annual Security Report In 1991, the U.S. Congress passed the Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act, which requires colleges to report the three previous years of crime statistics and campus security information and policies. The act was amended in 1992, 1998 and 2000. In October 1998, President Clinton signed an amendment renaming the act the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and requiring that crimes motivated by hate or bias be included in the statistics. In 2008, the Higher Education Opportunity Act added additional requirements for reporting, including but not limited to: emergency response and evacuation procedures, expanding the list of crimes motivated by hate or bias, reporting of fire safety information, and establishing a missing student notification policy.

Jeanne Clery Jeanne Clery by haskellnews

To contact the folks at Jeannie Clery: Because the law is tied to participation in federal student financial aid programs it applies to most institutions of higher education both public and private. It is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education. Institutions that fail to comply may be fined or lose eligibility to participate in federal student aid programs.

What are Haskell’s safety stats? Students, parents and the general public have a legal right to know.

Has anyone heard that Larry Echohawk recently stated (on more then one occasion) that The Bureau of Indian Education should turn the running of the BIE schools back over to the U.S. Department of Education? Apparently, even he realizes that change is needed?

President Barack Obama promised changed….where is Haskell’s?

haskellnews Oct 25, 2010.

Changing of the guard at Haskell Indian Nations University….again!


This week guarding the ever present boarding school mentality at Haskell Indian Nations University, in Lawrence, Kansas are two that have hardly ever stepped beyond its doors. Venida Chenault as ACTING president and Jim Tucker as ACTING vice president.

It would almost be funny if it weren’t so sad. The leadership at Haskell changes like a revolving door with no one there to push the stop button. Mean while the American Indian students ( 91% of them) are not graduating.

All we have to say about this is maybe Larry Echohawk or Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn should send some clowns in to take over …… Oh, wait, don’t bother, they’re already there.

haskellnews commentary

Oct 13, 2010

A New Trail of Tears?


President Barack Obama’s political appointment for Assistant Secretary of InteriorIndian Affairs, Mr. Larry Echohawk appears to have embarked on a mission to bring national attention to the “state” of Indian education by journeying his own Trail of Tears.

In the last year, Assistant Secretary Echohawk has cried at Brigham

Young University, wept openly at The Pawnee Nation, shed tears at Haskell Indian Nations University and last week in San Diego at the National Indian Education Association he is reported to have dropped a crocodile tear or two.

It appears that Echohawk has now traveled the entire nation, north south east and west weeping. Is this apology Indian Country has been waiting for from the federal government?

Echohawk does not appear to be able to contain the mortification he has found in Bureau of Indian Education schools when he talks to Indian students and parents. Assistant Secretary Echohawk has now lasted longer than the last half dozen or so political appointments at that level, but surely the stress of such emotional commitment to Indian children must be getting to him.

It’s a good thing Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn and Venida Chenault are social workers and can step up to counsel him.

Of course, we think it would be a better thing if  President Obama could appoint someone who actually did something positive for Indians kids instead of hiring and promoting totally unqualified people and then bawling because they screw up. But that’s because we believed President Obama had an Indian agenda—one that looked at education.

Likely you did too.

haskellnews commentary

Oct 11, 2010

Does Anyone Care about Haskell Indian Nations University’s Leadership Problems?



A video came out in The Lawrence Journal World on Sept 29, 2010 (Link: on it two Haskell students said Haskell needs more staff and one of them states that Haskell “staff are hard to find”. Of course they are, without, any true leadership in place, they are like little kids in a candy store.

Haskell doesn’t need more staff, they need staff that can actually find their way to work, correct ? And once they do stay there, work and not hide behind closed office doors, or bring their adult or minor children to work with them, correct ? Or, not put curtains up in their office windows, so the students can’t tell if they are in or not, correct ?

Here’s a policy suggestion no Haskell employee shall date the students? Nor come to work drunk or high? Why can’t those policies be put into place and if they already ? Why are Haskell employees not fired for disobeying them? Or are they ? Or are they caught and still employed by Haskell ? If Haskell has that type of leadership who can the students look up to ?

What about this for a policy ? If an employee leaves their office they will put a note on the door stating where they are at and what time they will return and then actually come back at that time? And if they aren’t then the student is to contact Michael S. Black Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington D.C. and let him know about it. Since there is currently no leadership at Haskell, then the students need to go straight to the top.

One more policy: The Haskell instructor does not show up to teach the class? So a substitute is found? Instead of Haskell students being sent out of the classroom without the one thing they came to Haskell Indian Nations University for… an education, so many Haskell students are leaving without one.

With Dr. Linda Sue Warner, Haskell’s President still on detail ( which has now lasted a year ), Haskell has no real leadership and it’s showing…. the students aren’t graduating, at least 91-93% of them are NOT graduating.

When will Haskell’s leadership problems be resolved? For now The American Indians students who attend Haskell are suffering because it, the numbers don’t lie.

Does anyone care? Larry Echohawk where are your tears and promises of change for Haskell at now ? Maybe it’s time to be moving some of your top people around. You could start with putting Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn back in the social work department, from which she hails, restructure your Haskell Board of Regents, bring Dr. Warner back to Haskell and try getting rid of some of those Haskell employees who are obviously not doing their jobs……

Note: Many of our readers have ask if Senator Pat Roberts has given up on Haskell ? The answer is no. It is our understanding that Senator Pat Roberts and his Kansas Delegation continue working to resolve Haskell’s problems.

haskellnews commentary

Sept 05, 2010

Haskell Indian Nations University’s Leadership Limbo

The best thing federal officials can do for Haskell Indian Nations University is resolve the school’s lingering leadership question.

Additional federal funds are one way to improve programs at Haskell Indian Nations University, but they don’t address the school’s No. 1 need: a permanent president who can set a strong course for Haskell’s future.

This week, the U.S. Department of Education announced a $1.6 million federal grant to improve academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability at Haskell. It’s a significant amount of money for the school, whose annual allocation from the federal government is only $14.2 million. According to a representative of the Haskell president’s office, the money will be used to improve advising and student retention services, which is a good goal.

However, despite repeated assurances from the Bureau of Indian Affairs that a decision on the Haskell presidency is forthcoming, the school’s leadership remains in limbo. Linda Warner, who still is the school’s official president, has been fulfilling BIA assignments in other states for more than a year. In the meantime, Haskell has had three acting presidents, but no decision about a permanent president.

The $1.4 million grant is nice, but if federal officials really want to help Haskell, they should quit delaying and return Warner to Lawrence and allow her to oversee and initiate new policies and academic opportunities — or bring in another experienced, courageous, visionary academic leader.

Haskell gets $1.6 million federal grant to make academic and administrative improvements

By Mark Fagan

September 29, 2010

Haskell Indian Nations University is getting another $1.645 million from the federal government to help improve academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability.

The U.S. Department of Education this week disclosed that it would provide Haskell with the grant as part of a department program for tribally controlled colleges and universities. The money becomes available Friday, for use during the next 12 months.

Stephen Prue, who works in the Haskell president’s office, said the money would help boost services in the Haskell Success Center, designed to provide centralized advising, retention, outreach and career-placement services.

The center, new this semester, is intended to help improve student engagement on a campus whose overall graduation rate — the combined total for students pursuing two-year associate’s degrees and four-year bachelor’s degrees — is 26 percent.

Because the grant is “new money,” Prue said, it is above and beyond the university’s annual allocation of $14.2 million as approved by Congress.

“This is very exciting news for us,” Prue said. “This will give us some opportunities, some resources, to improve retention and placement.”

To start, Prue said, the money likely will be used to add two retention specialists at the school, which is run by the federal government for American Indians and has an enrollment this semester of nearly 1,000 students from about 150 tribes.

Other eligible expenses for grant money include curriculum development and academic instruction; administrative management; establishing or improving endowment funds; and construction, maintenance, renovation and improvement of classroom, library, laboratory and other instructional facilities.