The stewards and creators of White Eagle Memorial Preserve Cemetery find great meaning in making natural burials available to people who, like us, believe in nourishing the Earth in our lives AND in our passing. We believe that to have one’s death actually inspire a healthier, more ecologically rich landscape, is a great act of love and generosity!
Our cemetery manager, Jodie, complements her home at White Eagle with her home outside La Conner in the Skagit Valley, and is available to make house calls throughout the pacific northwest, to talk through arrangements in person and speak to groups about natural burial. Get in touch with her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a text or voicemail at 206-383-3285. Jodie is not always available for last minute tours and visits, but with enough notice, a White Eagle steward will be able to host your visit.
Our Stewards: White Eagle is supported by a crew of stewards, who help to lead tours, prepare grave places, welcome family visits, and support burials.
White Eagle Memorial Preserve at Ekone Ranch is a 20 acre green burial ground, out toward Rock Creek Canyon, about a mile past the Ekone Ranch valley. Both Ekone Ranch and Sacred Earth Foundation are the manifestation of Ray Mitchell, a hard working, Earth loving, horse-whispering, community-building teacher, leader and visionary who died in 2008. His death provided the impetus to start a natural burial ground so that his wishes could be met, and he was our first burial. Ray gave 30 years of devotion to protecting these wild surroundings and was able to secure this land in perpetuity. We offer green burials as another means to continue to share this land in community.
The first people on this land were Rock Creek Band, now incorporated in Yakama Nation, and the Ekone Ranch valley has been a gathering place for hundreds of years. Ekone Ranch has been offering summer horse camps for children for over twenty-five years, and during the shoulder season we host adult quests and wilderness programming, and school group retreats. Ekone work parties, held monthly October-May, are a great way to connect with the place and meet some of the people who are dedicated to supporting the mission and work here, through service projects in the garden, the forest, and the Ekone Ranch valley. The extended community of this place spreads wide and far, and we love bringing people together in service. White Eagle hosts two yearly gatherings as well: Memorial Day Sunday Camp out and Open house, and our All Souls Day event the first Saturday in November.
And who we were . . .
A burial ground at Ekone was a long held dream of Ray’s and to manifest it for him brings us all great joy! We know his playful and pioneering spirit would relish the idea of an After-Life Community at the White Eagle Memorial Preserve Cemetery. When we think of Ray now on “the other side” we like to imagine him relaying the words we heard from him time and time again in the midst of enjoying one of life’s special moments: “Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better . . . . “ Some of the pictures on this site were taken by Logan Price and Daniel Dancer during his life celebration and burial ceremony.
T H E F O U N D E R S
White Eagle was founded by Ray’s loved ones in his honor and memory. We thank them for their devotion to this labor of love, and for their work in the world.
Daniel Dancer is an artist, author, educator, who leads Art For the Sky residency programs in schools and communities across the country and abroad. To his right is Jade Sherer, a vision quest guide and ceremonialist leading programs throughout the west. On her right is Nancy “Fisse” Davis, once partner with Ray Mitchell. Next to her is Bob Jeffers, long time Ekone community member and cemetery groundskeeper, and operator of Golden Graphics. He makes pine caskets and memorial stones. His partner, Chris Woodcock, has been mothering and cooking for camp children at Ekone’s famous Yummy-Tummy-Cafe since the beginning. Chris crafts beautiful burial shrouds.
We are guided by beauty and each grave site becomes an opportunity to create more of it. At the bottom of each new grave, we construct a special design made out of plant materials found nearby or flowers from our garden. And we love to release one or two of Ekone’s white homing pigeons! Both of these are gifts to each burial, that we offer freely.