The Native American Heritage Fund (NAHF) Board awarded over $480,000 in grants during the virtual 2021 NAHF Check Distribution on Friday, July 16. The NAHF continues to be a unique funding initiative that supports and promotes positive relationships and accurate information about the history and role of Michigan’s Indian tribes and Native Americans in the state.
“The NAHF Board of Directors is proud to announce that 11 different entities received funding from the Native American Heritage Fund,” said NAHF Chairperson Jamie Stuck, who also serves as the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Tribal Council Chairperson. “This year, 17 different organizations applied for funding through the NAHF. We are honored that so many organizations want to enact change and improve relationships between Natives and non-Natives in our home state of Michigan.”
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 MeetUps 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.