As the archives for the history of the University of Michigan, the Bentley Historical Library acknowledges that the historical origins and present location of the University were made possible by indigenous people’s cession of lands under coercive treaties common in the colonization and expansion of the United States. In particular we note:
The University’s three campuses are located on lands of the Anishinaabeg and Wyandot, which were ceded under Article 1 of the Treaty of Detroit in 1807.
The University’s endowment was originally funded in significant measure by sale of land granted under Article 16 of the 1817 Treaty of the Foot of the Rapids, also known as the Treaty of Ft. Meigs. This grant, for “the college at Detroit,” was made by Anishinaabeg — including Odawa, Ojibwe, and Bodewadami — so that their children could be educated.
These lands continue to be the homeland of many indigenous people, and through these words of acknowledgment, we seek to reaffirm and respect their contemporary and ancestral ties to the land and to recognize their contributions to the University.