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Native American Heritage Fund Announces Grant Recipients

Jul 01, 2022

Six projects in Michigan communities are receiving grant funding to support community projects, academic programming updates, mascot changeovers, and other projects that honor Native American culture and history. From a pool of 11 applicants, the Native American Heritage Fund (NAHF) Board selected the six projects, for a total of nearly $480,000. Priority was given to projects that reduce the number of inappropriate mascots among public schools, which is often costly for schools that need to update facilities, uniforms, and more.

The 2022 NAHF grants include:

    • Chippewa Hills School District — $52,371.20 to rebrand the current mascot from “Warriors” to “Golden Knights.”
    • Hartford Public Schools — $132,249.25 to rebrand the current mascot from “Indians” to “Huskies,” and implement a new curriculum to help build meaningful connections with students.
    • Lansing School District — $87,500 to rebrand the current mascot from the “Big Reds” to a new culturally appropriate mascot and logo.
    • Michigan College Access Network — $55,000 to continue funding the “College Completion Corps,” a program that places completion coaches at three Tribal colleges: Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College, Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College and Bay Mills Community College for the upcoming academic year.
    • Saranac Community Schools – $139,318.90 to rebrand the current mascot from the “R-word” to “Red Hawks” before the upcoming academic year.
    • Western Michigan University’s Native American Affairs Council — $12,295 to host “A Conversation with Dallas Goldtooth” of the Mdewakanton Dakota and Dine with Native News Online live streaming the event.

The awards will be distributed and shared with the public at the NAHF grant award ceremony at FireKeepers Casino Hotel on Friday, August 19 at noon.

The NAHF was established in 2016 as part of the Second Amendment to the Tribal-State Gaming Compact between the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (an MLC client) and the State of Michigan. The amendment allowed for a portion of NHBP’s annual state revenue sharing payment to be deposited into the NAHF. The fund serves to promote positive relationships between public and private K-12 schools, colleges, universities, local units of government and Michigan’s federally recognized Native American Tribes. The NAHF provides resources to help improve curricula and educational resources related to Michigan Indian history, as well as to replace or revise mascots and imagery that may be deemed as offensive to or inaccurately conveying the culture and values of Native Americans.

Michigan Legislative Consultants is a bipartisan lobbying firm based in Lansing, Michigan. Our team of lobbyists and procurement specialists provide a wide range of services for some of the most respected companies in America. For more on MLC, visit www.mlcmi.com or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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