Nottawaseppi Huron Band addresses education in new casino deal

Jamie Stuck serves as chair of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians in Michigan. Photo: FireKeepers Casino The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians has entered into a new Class III gaming compact that includes funds for education in Michigan.

As part of its revenue sharing arrangement, the tribe will pay up to $500,000 a year to the new Michigan Native American Heritage Fund. The money can be used by local governments, public schools, private schools and other educational institutions for various projects, including ones to eliminate harmful mascots and imagery.

“This fund demonstrates our commitment to providing Michigan schools, colleges and universities with the funds needed to improve curricula and resources related to Native American issues and mascot revisions,” Chair Jamie Stuck said in a press release. “We understand that schools often don’t have funds available for these types of projects and we are dedicated to removing that obstacle.”

The tribe isn't the first to offer financial support for mascot changes. The Oneida Nation in New York donated $10,000 to a high school that got rid of its harmful nickname.

But the Nottawaseppi Huron Band appears to be the first to address the issue through a gaming compact. The agreement, which came in the form of an amendment, was approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, according to a notice that was published in the Federal Register on December 12.

“I greatly appreciate the productive government-to-government relationship that the State of Michigan enjoys with the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi,” Gov. Rick Snyder (R) said. “I’m proud that this second amendment to the tribal-state gaming compact will provide opportunities for additional partnerships between the tribe, state, and schools to promote the rich history and contributions of the first Michiganders and our mutual citizens.”

Read More on the Story:
New state-tribe agreement may help schools nix Native American mascots (MLive 1/3)
Casino revenue to fund mascot changes, infrastructure (The Battle Creek Enquirer 1/3)
FireKeepers alters its deal with the State (WHTC 1/4)
Changes To Tribal Agreement Could Mean Fewer Native American Mascots (WDET 1/4)
Money being made available for schools looking to change mascots (WWMT 1/4)
Funds could rid Michigan schools of Native American mascots (AP 1/5)

Federal Register Notice:
Indian Gaming; Approval of an Amendment to a Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compact in the State of Michigan (December 12, 2016)

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