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Anderson won't comment on BIA student's death

Bureau of Indian Affairs head Dave Anderson visited the Chemawa Indian School in Oregon on Thursday but deferred questions about the recent death of a 16-year-old student there.

The FBI is investigating Cindy Gilbert Sohappy's death on December 6. She was found dead in a campus holding cell, where she had been placed for being intoxicated.

At the school, Anderson told students about his own struggle with alcohol and drug abuse. "I think the message I have here today to all Indian students is that everyone of us is special, and I know in my own life I wouldn�t be where I am today if I hadn�t been given a second chance in life," he was quoted as saying.

BIA education director Ed Parisian said Chemawa will no longer use the holding cells.

Get the Story:
Chemawa changes protocols after death (The Oregonian 3/19)
Indian Affairs official inspires Chemawa (The Statesman Journal 3/19)
Chemawa Indian School students get pep talk to avoid drugs, alcohol (KGW 3/18)
BIA official speaks at Chemawa school (AP 3/18)

Oregonian Special Series:
Warm Springs - A Place Where Children Die

Relevant Links:
Warm Springs Tribes -

Related Stories:
Anderson visiting BIA schools to share message (3/18)
Ex-Chemawa students recall holding cell experiences (3/18)
Videotape captured teen's death at boarding school (3/1)
IHS holding back information on boarding school death (02/09)
Drinking said rampant at BIA boarding school in Ore. (01/22)
Autopsy: BIA student died of alcohol poisoning (1/16)
Oregonian: Alcohol, drugs and abuse destroy family (01/07)
Terry Cross: U.S. has failed Indian children (12/15)
Warm Springs teen dies at BIA boarding school (12/12)