Who We Are
The stewards and creators of White Eagle Nature Preserve Cemetery are simple, earthy people who have, devoted their lives to upholding the magic, beauty and inheritance of the natural cycles and passages of life. We find great meaning in making natural, conservation 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!
Two of us on the White Eagle staff, live here off the grid at Ekone Ranch, home of the conservation burial ground and much else. The ranch and the burial ground are part of 1100 acres of land owned and managed by the Sacred Earth Foundation. Both the ranch and the foundation are the manifestation of Ray Mitchell, a hard working, Earth loving, horse-whispering, community loving, teacher, leader and visionary who recently died and became our first burial. Ray started with next to nothing and over the course of 30 years of uncompromising devotion to protecting his wild surroundings was able to piece together this beautiful land on the edge of spectacular Rock Creek Canyon.
Ekone means "Land of the Good Spirit" in the tongue of the Yakima Indians, the original inhabitants here. Ekone has been offering summer horse camps for children for over twenty years under the name of White Eagle Vision Expeditions. Many hundreds have attended over the years creating an extended community which spreads wide and far. Those of us fortunate enough to live at Ekone find ourselves at home in making magic with and for children, growing organic food and preparing it well for people, making beauty for the sake of beauty, walking the path of heartfelt and honest communication, and helping to guide others back to their original home in wild nature.
Daniel Dancer is an artist, author, educator, and the general manager of the burial ground. Daniel leads Art For the Sky residency programs in schools and communities across the country and abroad. To his right is Jade Sherer, the White Eagle registrar. Jade is a vision quest guide and ceremonialist leading programs throughout the west. On her right is Nancy "Fisse" Davis, once partner with Ray Mitchell, now deceased, founder of Ekone and the Foundation. Next to her is Bob Jeffers, long time Ekone community member and operator of Golden Graphics. These days, Bob is turning his skills toward eco-forestry, coffin making and memorial rock etchings. He is partnered with the lovely lady on his right, Chris Woodcock who has been mothering and cooking for camp children at Ekone's famous Yummy-Tummy-Cafe since the beginning. Chris is an expert on the crafting of beautiful shrouds.
We are guided by beauty and each gravesite becomes an opportunity to create more of it. At the bottom of each new grave, we always 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 extra touches that we offer freely.
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 Nature 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.