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Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe

Partners in Progress

Central Michigan University is proud to have a strong, historic and cooperative relationship with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. Composed mainly of the Saginaw, Black River and Swan Creek Ojibwe bands, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Mount Pleasant has more than 3,000 enrolled members. Many of the members live on the reservation — established through an 1855 treaty — while others live throughout Michigan and the United States.

The collaborative efforts of the university and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe aim to improve and enhance the quality of life of citizens of the region. These efforts have fostered educational initiatives, cultural events and speakers, and extensive Native American educational resources for the campus and tribal communities. For instance, CMU and the tribe jointly hosted a United Nations-funded international conference on Indigenous issues in higher education after signing a proclamation pledging their support for advancing an appreciation of global Indigenous peoples.

Our tight-knit community comes together for Indigenous feasts, dances, readings and films to honor the Native American people and what it means to be a CMU Chippewa. For example, the annual CMU Celebrating Life Pow wow is a longstanding opportunity for our campus community to experience Native American culture. Programs such as Native American Heritage Month and resources such as the CMU Native American Programs Office offer our CMU community and beyond an opportunity to understand Indigenous cultures, traditions and wisdom. 

This mutual relationship also is evident in the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council's continued support of Central Michigan University's Chippewas nickname, which the university uses as a sign of pride, honor and respect for the tribe's rich heritage.

An articulation agreement between CMU and the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College provides easy transfer for Tribal College students who wish to complete their studies toward a baccalaureate degree at CMU.