The Michigan Native American Heritage Fund (NAHF) was created as part of the Second Amendment, approved in 2016, to the 1988 Tribal-State Gaming Compact between the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP) and the State of Michigan. The NAHF is a public body politic established by an Interlocal Agreement pursuant to the Urban Cooperation Act of 1967 and in accordance with the Compact. Up to $500,000 per year from NHBP’s state revenue sharing payments go into the new Fund, which is dedicated to promoting understanding, history and good relationships with the State’s Native Americans. The funds will be distributed in the form of grants to schools, colleges and universities, and local governments to assist with initiatives to improve curricula and resources related to Native American issues, and mascot or imagery revisions, ideally in collaboration with Michigan’s Federally recognized Indian Tribes.
Native American Heritage Fund



  • Baraga Area Schools – $6,000 to integrate Ojibwe language and culture in the school environment by creating Cultural Liaison on staff; implementing signage, hosting Pow Wow’s and other cultural activities.
  • Chippewa Hills School District – $66,446 to rebrand signage, floors, athletic facilities and apparel with new “Golden Knights” mascot imagery.
  • Manistee Area Public Schools – $142,585 to rebrand signage, website, athletic facilities and athletic uniforms with new “Mariners” mascot imagery.
  • Meridian Charter Township – $15,000 to replace hateful imagery by installing a new sign at the entrance to Sower Blvd off Okemos Rd.
  • Pellston Public Schools – $6,000 to create, administer and use a new bilingual website designed and built by students to allow them to interact and grow with Native and non-Native community members.
  • Petoskey Schools – $2,925 to purchase new track uniforms with rebranded school mascot that replaced the previous Native American .
  • Port Huron Area School District – $162,943.90 to replace and rebrand the current mascot at Michigamme and Roosevelt Elementary Schools and High School.
  • Sandusky Community Schools – $74,604.08 to rebrand athletic equipment, signage and athletic uniforms with new “Wolves” mascot imagery.
  • Watersmeet Township School District – $3,845 to implement a mini teaching Pow Wow event using best practices around Indigenous knowledge to promote positive relationships between the school district, Tribe and local government.


  • Chippewa Hills School District — $52,371.20 to replace current Native American imagery with “Golden Knights” imagery for the “Warriors” mascot.
  • Hartford Public Schools — $132,249.25 to rebrand the current mascot from “Indians” to “Huskies,” and implement a new curriculum to help build meaningful connections with students.
  • Lansing School District — $87,500 to rebrand the current mascot from the “Big Reds” 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 upcoming academic year.
  • Saranac Community Schools – $139,318.90 to rebrand the current mascot from the “R-word” to “Red Hawks” before the upcoming academic year.
  • Western Michigan University’s Native American Affairs Council — $12,295 to host “A Conversation with Dallas Goldtooth” of the Mdewakanton Dakota and Dine with Native News Online live streaming the event.



  • Suttons Bay Public Schools – $20,000 to help develop a new land-based education curriculum.
  • Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College – $30,000 to partner with the Native Justice Coalition to offer and expand the Annual Anishinaabe Racial Justice Conference.
  • Petoskey Public Schools – $58,665 to help remove unacceptable Native American imagery on infrastructure, uniforms, and equipment across the school district.
  • Clinton Community Schools – $100,000 to help rebrand and adopt a new mascot, replacing existing imagery with a new logo.
  • Paw Paw Public Schools – $216,045 to help implement the new Red Wolves nickname and brand on signage, facilities, and athletic uniforms.
  • City of Marquette – $57,500 to help develop an interpretive Anishinaabe Public Art Project and companion trail curriculum along the lakefront as part of the City’s larger Cultural Trail project.


  • Bay de Noc Community College – $6,000 to publicly acknowledge the Treaty of 1836 through a public plaque on each campus and a Treaty Day celebration.
  • Godfrey-Lee Public Schools – $98,000 to rebrand the current mascot from “Rebels” to a new mascot and nickname that is culturally responsive.
  • Grand Rapids Community College – $5,285 to support the Grand Rapids Community College Education and Reconciliation Project including a trip to the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways and a Native American Speaker’s Forum.
  • Monroe County Community College – $199,234 to create curriculum and a set of immersion experiences for K-12 students, focused on how to research stories from the Native perspective.


  • 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.
  • City of Battle Creek – $3,377.50 to assist with removal and replacement of a stained glass window medallion in City Hall.
  • City of Kalamazoo – $76,765 to assist with the removal of the Fountain of Pioneers and site improvements at Bronson Park.
  • Suttons Bay Public Schools – $12,500 to the Friendship Community Center/LIFT Teen Center to expand hours and create new programming for the only local afterschool program for sixth through 12th grade youth, with 70 percent demographic consisting of Native American students.