Native American Heritage Fund Announces Grants to Remove American Indian Imagery

Julie Dye at protest in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan in November 2017 to have Fountain of Pioneers removed from city park. The offensive fountain was removed in early 2018. Facebook photo

Published July 17, 2018

NAHF Funds Projects in Belding, Battle Creek and Kalamazoo

FULTON, Mich. — At its July 13 meeting, the Native American Heritage Fund Board selected projects in three Michigan communities to be the fund’s first ever grant recipients.

The 2018 grants approved include:

  1. Belding Area Schools – $334,690.60 to support the replacement of equipment, apparel and signage following the revision of the school’s mascot from Redskins to Black Knights.
  2. City of Battle Creek – $3,377.50 to assist with removal and replacement of a stained glass window medallion in City Hall.
  3. City of Kalamazoo – $76,765 to assist with the removal of the Fountain of Pioneers and site improvements at Bronson Park.
The NAHF sought proposals for projects that included changing or revising curricula or improving program development, replacing or revising mascots or imagery that might be considered offensive to Native Americans, and replacing or revising government seals or images in public spaces. 

Six other applications are still under consideration by the NAHF Board for possible funding in 2018.

Michigan’s K-12 schools, colleges, universities, and local units of government were eligible for funding through the NAHF to defray the costs of projects that promote positive relationships and accurate information about the history and role of Michigan’s Indian tribes and Native Americans in the state.

The fund, which was approved in 2016 as part of the Second Amendment to the Tribal-State Gaming Compact between NHBP and the State of Michigan, allocates a portion of NHBP’s state revenue sharing payments to the NAHF.The NAHF Board is composed of: Chairperson: Jamie Stuck (NHBP Tribal Council Chairperson); Vice Chairperson: Dorie Rios (NHBP Tribal Council Vice Chairperson); Secretary: Elizabeth Kinnart (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Citizen); Treasurer: Melissa Kiesewetter (Michigan Dept. of Civil Rights Tribal Liaison/Native American Specialist); Board Member: Kimberly Vargo (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Vice Chairperson).

For media inquiries, or to request an interview with NAHF Board Chairperson Jamie Stuck, please contact NHBP Director of Communications and Public Relations Judi Henckel at 269.704.8361.

For questions regarding the NAHF grant process, please contact Calhoun County Administrator/Controller Kelli Scott at 269.781.0966.

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