Native American Heritage Fund Board

 The Native American Heritage Fund Board will hold its first 2020 meeting at noon, Friday, March 6 at the FireKeepers Casino in the Shkwede Boardroom

Board Contact:
Native American Heritage Fund Board
Attn: Kelli Scott
315 W. Green St.
Marshall, MI 49068 

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.  

The Fund is governed by a five-member board:  two members appointed by the NHBP; two members appointed by the Governor of Michigan; and the Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights or their designee.  Calhoun County's administration currently provides financial and communication support services to the NAHF Board through an intergovernmental agreement.  The NAHF Board meetings are open to the public.

Congratulations to the 2019 NAHF grant awardees.
  1. 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
  2. Godfrey-Lee Public Schools – $98,000 to rebrand the current mascot from "Rebels" to a new mascot and nickname that is culturally responsive
  3. Grand Rapids Community College – $5,285 to support the Grand Rapids Community College Education and Reconciliation Project including a trip to the Ziibawing Center of Anishinaabe Culture and Lifeways and a Native American Speaker’s Forum
  4. Indigenous Law and Policy Center at Michigan State University College of Law – $20,000 to provide a two-day symposium, Native Family Day, and ancillary programming throughout the year
  5. 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
  6. Northern Michigan University – $134,612.80 to expand Anishinabék language course offerings at undergraduate and graduate levels
  7. The Friendship Community/LIFT Teen Center – $16,650 to support an overnight backpacking trip to South Minitou Island, exposing students to the history of the Ottawa tribe
Read the press release

2019 Board Members
Jamie Stuck, NHBP Tribal Chairperson
Dorie Rios, NHBP Tribal Vice Chairperson
Elizabeth Kinnart, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Citizen
Melissa Kiesewetter, MDCR Tribal Liaison/ Native American Specialist
Kimberly Vargo, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Vice Chair

April 26, 2019: Press release annoucing application process for 2019

See the full list of 2018 NAHF grant awardees.