The Mdewakanton Dakota from Little Crow's Village or Kaposia (seasonal home) made their summer home in the area that is today Little Canada because of the abundant fishing and hunting resources. The first white settlers in the region were French/Canadians. Many of the descendents of these settlers still reside in Little Canada. The city's largest lake, Lake Gervais, was named after Benjamin Gervais. He was the first white man to claim land here in 1844. In 1850, the first school was established and classes were taught in French. One of Ramsey County's historical sites, the Catholic Church of St. John the Evangelist, was built in 1852. St. John's Cemetery was the second to be established in Minnesota. In 1858, Little Canada became a township, a village in 1953, and in 1974 a city.