Deadline Detroit | Tribal Casino Money Helps 4 Other Michigan School Systems Remove Offensive Mascots And Team Nicknames

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Hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Native American group will help four Michigan school districts pay to replace offensive team mascots and sports logos on uniforms, helmets, gyms, banners and buildings.


The Indians become the Huskies before this Van Buren county reopens after the summer.

The grants over $400,000 are the latest in annual support from the Native American Heritage Fund, a tribal coalition working “to replace or revise mascots and images that may be deemed offensive to Native Americans or may convey inaccurate depictions of Native American culture and values.

These recipients are receiving payments on August 19 to make changes before the 2022-23 school year:


  • Chippewa Hills School District: $52,371 to replace Warriors images with Golden Knights artwork. The Mescota County system is in the middle of Michigan.


  • Hartford Public schools: $132,249 to rename the Indians mascot to Huskies and add lessons “to help build meaningful connections with students.” Western Michigan Schools are in Van Buren County


  • Lansing School District: $87,500 to rebrand Big Reds teams with “a culturally appropriate mascot and logo.”


  • Saranac Community Schools: $139,319 to rebrand the current Redskins mascot (called “the R-word” by the fund) to Red Hawks.

“Priority has been given to at least partially fund the important work of reducing the number of inappropriate mascots in Michigan public schools, which is often costly for schools that need to update facilities, uniforms and more,” said a Press release said.

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State Capital teams will be dubbed in a “culturally appropriate” manner. (Photo: Lansing School District)

The six-year-old heritage fund is part of a tribal gaming contract between the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi and the government of Michigan. He receives up to $500,000 a year through revenue-sharing payments from state casinos.

Its goal is “to enhance educational programs and resources related to Michigan Indian history, as well as fund initiatives that promote mutual respect and cooperation among local communities and the government-recognized tribes of Michigan.” federal”.

Last month, this five-person board selected one school and two scholarship recipients from among 11 applicants:

  • Potawatomi Tribal Council President Jamie Stuck

  • Dorie Rios, Tribal Council Vice President

  • Elizabeth Kinnart, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

  • Kimberly Vargo, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

  • Melissa Kiesewetter, Michigan Department of Civil Rights Tribal Liaison

The checks will be distributed at a ceremony on August 19 at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek.

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