This week, Governor Rick Snyder and the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi announced the approval of a Second Amendment to the Tribal-State Gaming compact. The amendment, which was agreed to by the parties in August 2016, was approved by the United States Department of the Interior’s Office of Indian Gaming Management by publication in the Federal Register on December 12, 2016.
Beginning with revenue sharing payments due in early 2017, the Second Amendment allocates a portion (up to $500,000/year) of state revenue sharing payments to a newly created Michigan Native American Heritage Fund. The fund will be managed by a board with two individuals appointed by the Tribe, two appointed by the Governor, and the Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights or his/her designee. The Board will award funds to local governments and public and private schools, colleges, and universities to defray the costs of projects that promote positive relationships with and understanding of the history and role of Michigan’s Indian tribes and Native Americans in the state. Projects can include covering the costs associated with schools replacing or revising mascots or imagery that might be considered offensive to Native Americans with more culturally appropriate representations or new mascots/logos.
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