MARSHALL, MI – The Native American Heritage Fund (NAHF) Board has selected projects in 11 Michigan communities as recipients of the fund’s 2021 grants. From a pool of 17 applicants, the NAHF board chose to award grants totaling more than $480,000 in support of community art and projects, curricula updates, mascot revisions and other projects that honor Native American culture and history in the area.
The 2021 NAHF grants include:
- East Jordan Public Schools – $17,500 to develop curricula on Indigenous/Anishinaabek culture, history and language in participating Title VI schools in northern Michigan.
- Kalamazoo Regional Educational Services Agency (Kalamazoo RESA) – $16,800 to expand the Kalamazoo County Native American Family Meet Ups program to include families of children 3rd–12th grade
- Lansing School District: Vivian Riddle Elementary School – $47,712 to rebrand the current mascot from a bear wearing a Native American headdress to “Rhinos”.
- Michigan College Access Network (MCAN)/Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College – $60,000 to increase college completion of students at tribal colleges by placing college completion coaches at Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College, Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College and Bay Mills Community College for the next three years.
- Michigan Technological University – $19,056 to develop experiential, place-based local literacy modules that engage educators and communities to know about tribal culture and history.
- Northport Public Schools – $22,860 to install new signage on municipal land dedicated to Odawa/Ojibwa Native American history in Leelanau County.
- Okemos Public Schools – $213,663.50 to rebrand the current mascot “Chiefs” to a new mascot that is culturally responsive
- Rochester Community Schools – $6,100 to educate staff and the community with a Pow Wow demonstration, and foster this learning continuously through book clubs and Twitter chats.
- Saugatuck Public Schools – $43,022 to rebrand the current mascot from “Indians” to “Trailblazers”.
- Sault Area Public Schools – $26,000 to establish a language program and create signage in English and Ojibwe.
- Traverse City Area Public Schools – $8,200 to create a new monthly educational series “Anishinaabe Expressive Cultural Series” to increase cultural knowledge and awareness.
The awards will be distributed by mail and shared with the public at a virtual meeting on July 16.