In 1817, the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi, Shawnee, and Wendat (Huron), inhabited most of what is now Michigan's Lower Peninsula. In the fall of that year, a treaty was signed between Michgan's Territorial Governor, Lewis Cass, and the Native tribes. In the treaty process, Governor Cass persuaded the Natives to cede 3840 acres of land, half of which was earmarked for St. Anne's Church, and half for "a college at Detroit" in which the Natives would be eligible to enroll.

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