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The Native American Heritage Fund is offering up money to three Michigan communities to replace symbols it deems offensive to some Americans.  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.

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

The City of Battle Creek recently received a quote from Full Spectrum Stained Glass in Colon, who said it would cost almost $6,800 to remove the glass seal and replace it with a medallion design similar to other windows in City Hall.  The grant from the Native American Heritage Fund would only cover half of that amount.

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 more information visit: at www.calhouncountymi.gov/government/native_american_heritage_fund_board