Calhoun County Tribe Offering Funds To Schools With “Potentially Offensive” Mascots
A Calhoun County Native American Tribe is planning on offering revenue from gaming, to help schools with potentially offensive mascots change their image, among other things.
The Notawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, which owns and operates FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, announced the changes to their revenue sharing compact with the state of Michigan on Tuesday. Under the new amendment to the compact, up to $500,000 a year can come from the money being given to the state, and go towards the newly created Michigan Native American Heritage Fund.
The Fund would be run by a board, containing two members appointed by the tribe, two appointed by the Governor, and the Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. The Fund would provide monies toward projects that “promote positive relationships with […] Michigan’s Indian tribes.”
The money could also be used to help schools with the cost of changing their mascots from potentially offensive portrayals of Native Americans. In a release, NHBP Tribal Chair Jamie Stuck says,
This fund demonstrates our commitment to providing Michigan schools, colleges and universities with the funds needed to improve curricula and resources related to Native American issues and mascot revisions.
Several Southwest Michigan schools have already switched their mascots from those that might be offensive, such as the “Redskins”. Others, like the Paw Paw Public Schools, are still debating the issue.