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Michigan school districts to get funding to change racist mascots

School desks
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Four Michigan school districts are getting grants to change racist mascots.

The Native American Heritage Foundation (NAHF) provides funding that may be used to replace or revise mascots and imagery that may be deemed offensive to Native Americans or may convey inaccurate representations of Native American culture and values, according to their website.

According to a press release from the foundation, four school districts are getting funds to rebrand or replace mascots. The funds will be used to update facilities, uniforms and more.

  • Saranac Community Schools will get $139,318.90 to rebrand the current mascot from the “R-word” to “Red Hawks” before the upcoming academic year.
  • Hartford Public Schools is receiving $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 is getting $87,500 to rebrand the current mascot from the “Big Reds” to a new culturally appropriate mascot and logo.
  • Chippewa Hills School District will get $52,371.20 to replace current Native American imagery with “Golden Knights” imagery for the “Warriors” mascot.

“If we fund the decommissioning of racist mascot imagery now, we will have more money in the future for proactive program and curriculum programming,” NAHF Chairperson Jamie Stuck said in the release. Stuck is also the Tribal Council Chairperson for the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi.

The foundation also provides funding “to improve curricula and educational resources related to Native American history in Michigan.

The Western Michigan University’s Native American Affairs Council will get $12,295 to host “A Conversation with Dallas Goldtooth” of the Mdewakanton Dakota and Dine with Native News Online live streaming the event. The Michigan College Access Network is receiving $55,000 to continue funding the “College Completion Corps,” a program that places completion coaches at three Tribal colleges.

The awards will be distributed in August.

Sophia Kalakailo joined Michigan Radio in Sept. 2021 and is a senior at Michigan State University studying journalism and minoring in documentary production. She previously interned at Bridge Michigan and was an editor for The State News and The Eastern Echo covering a wide range of topics.
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