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Schools In Okemos And Lansing Get Grants To Move Away From Native American Logos

Okemos High School
G. Aaron Klotz
Okemos school district teams will no longer be known as the Chiefs after a school board vote earlier this year. Replacing logos like this one on the football field will cost an estimated $400,000.

Two Mid-Michigan school districts are receiving money to help transition away from using Native American themed mascots.

In May, the board of education in Okemos voted to drop the district’s Chiefs nickname.

Changing logos in athletic facilities and elsewhere will cost an estimated $400,000. Now, a more than $213,000 grant from the Native American Heritage Fund will help with the change.

It’s the biggest of a series of grants approved by the fund in June.

The Lansing school district is replacing the logo at Riddle Middle School from a bear wearing a Native American headdress to the Rhinos. The grant it received covers the entire cost of the $47,000 revision.

Along with school nicknames, the fund supports arts projects and other efforts to honor Native American history and culture.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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