Native American Heritage Fund Announces 2020 Grant Recipients

Oct 27, 2020 | Media


The Native American Heritage Fund (NAHF) has announced that six Michigan communities will benefit from its 2020 awards. From a pool of ten submissions, the NAHF board chose to award grants totaling more than $482,000 to a half dozen recipients. The awards will be distributed by mail and shared with the public at a virtual meeting Nov. 20.

Three applicants were granted 100% of their requests:
  • Suttons Bay Public Schools was granted $20,000 to help develop a new land-based education curriculum.
  • Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College was granted $30,000 to partner with the Native Justice Coalition to offer and expand the Annual Anishinaabe Racial Justice Conference.
  • Petoskey Public Schools was granted $58,665 to help remove unacceptable Native American imagery on infrastructure, uniforms, and equipment across the school district.
Two applicants were granted 80% of their requests:
  • Clinton Community Schools was granted $100,000 to help rebrand and adopt a new mascot, replacing existing imagery with a new logo.
  • Paw Paw Public Schools was granted $216,045 to help implement the new Red Wolves nickname and brand on signage, facilities, and athletic uniforms.

A 50% award, $57,500, was made to the City of Marquette 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.

The NAHF, approved in 2016 as part of the Second Amendment to the Tribal-State Gaming Compact between the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP) and the State of Michigan, allocates a portion of NHBP’s state revenue-sharing payments from its FireKeepers Casino Hotel to the Fund. The NAHF grants resources to schools, colleges, universities, and local units of government to promote positive relationships and accurate information about the history and role of Michigan’s Indian tribes and Native Americans, including mascot changeovers and curriculum development.

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); and Board Member Kimberly Vargo (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Vice Chairperson).

To learn about past recipients, or about future application requirements, visit or

For media inquiries, or to request an interview with NAHF Board Chairperson Jamie Stuck, please contact NHBP
Communications Manager Katie Houston at or 269.704.8314.

For questions regarding the NAHF grant process, please contact Calhoun County Administrator-Controller Kelli Scott at or 269.781.0966.

About The Native American Heritage Fund
The NAHF was established in 2016 as part of the Second Amendment to the Tribal-State Gaming Compact between the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP) and the State of Michigan. The amendment allowed for a portion of NHBP’s annual state revenue sharing payment to be deposited into the NAHF.

The fund serves to promote positive relationships between public and private K-12 schools, colleges, universities, local units of government and Michigan’s federally recognized Native American Tribes. The NAHF provides resources to help improve curricula and educational resources related to Michigan Indian history, as well as to replace or revise mascots and imagery that may be deemed as offensive to or inaccurately conveying the culture and values of Native Americans.

For more information visit:


Related Articles

Share This