Okemos School District Gets $213K Grant to Help Change Mascot
Earlier this year, Okemos made headlines as it was grappling with dropping the "Chieftains" moniker as the school's mascot.
According to FOX 47, the vote for change was unanimous among the school board about a month ago. However, it was not as simple as slapping a new logo up at the school. No, no, the project was projected to cost about $427,000.
Native American Heritage Fund Is Here To Help
At a recent Board of Education meeting on Monday, June 28th, FOX 47 reports Okemos School District Superintendent John Hood announced the district would be recipients of a $213,000 grant from the Native American Heritage Fund.
What is the Native American Heritage Fund (NAHF)?
Well, according to their website, it was created here in Michigan in 2016 and is dedicated to "promoting understanding, history and good relationships with the State’s Native Americans."
What The Money IS Going Towards
They then use the funds in the form of grants for purposes like what Okemos schools are doing!
"The funds will be distributed in the form of grants to schools, colleges and universities, and local governments..." NAHF states. "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."
According to FOX 47, the money from this grant will be helping the school replace anything with the "Chief" or "Chieftain" name attached to it, including (not limited to) scoreboards, gym floors, uniforms, etc.
While we know people carry a lot of pride in their schools and their communities it is still important, as we all learn and grow, to understand that there is even more pride carried by those who those symbols originated from.
The fact the Native American Heritage Fund exists and is willing to help people come together and learn from situations like this is absolutely a step in a direction I think we all can agree is beneficial!
As many colleges, schools, and sports teams across the country have been changing their culturally objectifying mascots, here's a look at some of the best uniforms of the NFL throughout its history:
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