Native American grant helping school change mascot

BELDING, Mich. (WOOD) — The images of Native Americans as savages or as sports mascots are disappearing from schools, sports stadiums and monuments.

But the cost of reversing decades of disrespect comes with a price tag, and now it is the Native American community itself that is funding the solutions.

“For our kids – and it’s really about the kids – for our kids this will help us move forward, to help us be proud of what we are now,” Brent Noskey, superintendent for Belding Area Schools.

In Belding, the school district went through a protracted and contentious public battle over the name of the schools’ mascot – the Redskins.

“This will stir the pot a little bit again, getting this money, but I want everyone to know that our community is not racist,” Noskey said hours after he was told of the award.

In December of 2016, the school board – after numerous meetings and forums – voted to drop the Redskins name.



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