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Okemos school district near Lansing drops Chiefs nickname

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Posted at 11:28 AM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 11:28:06-04

OKEMOS, Mich. (AP) — A Lansing-area school district named for a Native American leader is dropping its Chiefs nickname, following similar changes at other Michigan schools.

The Okemos school board voted Monday to stop using Chiefs or Chieftains and pick a new nickname in a few years.

The switch could cost more than $400,000 to remove the name and image from buildings, uniforms and other school properties.

Okemos is an unincorporated community inside Meridian Township.

It is named for Chief Okemos, who lived in the area and led the Saginaw Chippewas.

He died in 1858.

In 2020, the Paw Paw district in southwestern Michigan voted to end the Redskins nickname.

READ MORE: Paw Paw High School will honor outgoing Redskins mascot in time capsule

The Belding Redskins in western Michigan became the Black Knights in 2016.

READ MORE: Belding school board unanimously votes to remove ‘Redskins’ mascot