White Earth Reservation is located in Becker, Clearwater, and Mahnomen counties in north-central Minnesota about 68 miles from Fargo and 225 miles from Minneapolis/St. Paul. Established as a reservation by treaty in 1867 between the United States and the Mississippi Band of Chippewa Indians, it is one of seven Chippewa reservations in Minnesota. The Ojibwa named this reservation Gahwahbahbigonikah, or White Earth, "for the white glacial loess found beneath the black surface soil." (Meyer)
The first group of Mississippi Band Indians started for White Earth in 1868, and after about 17 days travel they reached the trading post on June 14, 1868. The White Earth pow wow, in its 143 year in 2011, is always held as close as possible to the June 14 date. The first June 14th celebration in 1873 was a small affair held at the Episcopal Church, organized by Clement H. Beaulieu and the Rev. John Johnson or Enmegahbowh.
Enmegahbowh:Native and Christian
A paper on the First Native American Episcopal Priest,
for class on Native Americans and Christianity, by Margaret Lucie Thomas,
Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, California, December 16, 1994.
Meyer, Melissa L.
1994 The White Earth Tragedy: Ethnicity and Dispossession at a Minnesota Anishinaabe Reservation,
1889-1920, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London.