For many years our traditional big drum Midewiwin and Jiisakii ceremonies were outlawed on White Earth. Most of our teachings were hidden away and our people had to travel secretly to continue our most sacred spiritual practices. In recent years, these ceremonies have grown and with the passing of the 1978 American Indian Freedom of Religion Act, more of our ceremonies have come out of hiding. Many people from our community are involved in traditional religion, yet on White Earth, we did not have a place, which could be dedicated to support some of our ceremonies, and lodge some of the people. Our traditional spiritual practitioners needed a retreat center to host some of our longer ceremonies.
In 2002-2004, the White Earth Land Recovery Project acquired a 50-acre parcel of land located near White Earth Lake, with a small house. This purchase was made possible with generous donations, the late John O’Connor and his wife Carolyn Mugar and long-time supporters of WELRP, Don and Marion Hall.