GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Native American Heritage Fund is distributing tens of thousands of dollars to two West Michigan school districts.
Saugatuck Public Schools is getting $43,022 to support the switch of its mascots from the Indians to the Trailblazers. The district voted last year to ditch the old mascot and picked the Trailblazers as its new name in February of this year.
The Kalamazoo Regional Educational Services Agency was granted $16,800 for its Kalamazoo County Native American Family Meetups Program, expanding it to families of third through 12th grade children.
The grants were announced Friday as the NAHF Board held its annual Check Distribution. The organization provides money to help improve relationships in community and promote the history and role of tribes in Michigan.
In addition to the two West Michigan initiatives, grants were awarded to nine other institutions elsewhere in the state this year. They include two other mascot changes, tribal and community college scholarships and cultural, language or history school programs.
In all, more than $480,000 is being distributed.
Under the Tribal-State Gaming Compact, some of the money shared by tribal casinos with the state goes into the Native American Heritage Fund.