(Editor’s note: This story has been updated to say that Chippewa Hills is changing the image of their Warrior mascot but not changing the nickname.)
The Chippewa Hills School District receives money from a fund supported by Native American tribes in Michigan to change the image of their mascot.
While the districts are sticking with the warrior moniker and have consulted with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe in making this decision, they are dropping a Native American as their mascot in favor of a knight.
Grant funding will not cover all costs associated with the change, but will help with new uniforms, signage and other imagery, Superintendent Bob Grover said.
The Native American Heritage Fund’s Board of Trustees selected projects in six Michigan communities as recipients of the fund’s 2022 grants, at the June 17 board meeting.
From a pool of 11 applicants, the NAHF Board of Trustees chose to award grants totaling nearly $480,000 to support community projects, university program updates, mascot changes and other projects that honor Native American culture and history in the area.
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 to update facilities, uniforms, etc.
“If we fund the dismantling of racist mascot images now, we will have more money in the future for proactive programs and curricula,” said NAHF president Jamie Stuck, who is also president. of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Tribal Council.
NAHF urges schools to consult not only students but also local tribes in reconsidering a school mascot, and specifically funds schools that have identified the new branding and are internally prepared and approved to make the change.
NAHF grants 2022 include:
-Chippewa Hills School District – $52,371 to rename the current mascot.
-Hartford Public Schools – $132,249 to rebrand the current mascot from “Indians” to “Huskies” and implement a new program to help build meaningful connections with students.
– Lansing School District – $87,500 to rebrand the current “Big Reds” mascot to a new, culturally appropriate mascot and logo.
-Michigan College Access Network – $55,000 to continue funding the “College Completion Corps,” a program that places completion coaches at three tribal colleges: Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College, Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College, and Bay Mills Community College for the next academic year.
– Saranac Community Schools – $139,318.90 to rename the current mascot from the “R-word” to “Red Hawks” before the next school year.
-Western Michigan University Native American Affairs Council – $12,295 to host Mdewakanton Dakota’s “A Conversation with Dallas Goldtooth” and dinner with Native News Online live streaming the event.
Prizes will be distributed and shared with the public at the NAHF Awards Ceremony at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel on Friday, August 19 at noon.
Chippewa Schools has six schools and serves approximately 1,800 students in parts of Mecosta, Osceola, and Isabella counties.