On November 18, 2019, in the spirit of collaboration, the City of Warroad, the Warroad Public Schools Indian Education Program and the Kakaygeesick family worked together in coordinating a symbolic ceremony to restore the spirit houses of prominent local Indigenous leaders of the past: Namaypoke, Little Thunder, Kakaygeesick and Laughing Mary which are recognized as historical sites given their significance to the history of Warroad and the relationships with Indigenous peoples in this area.
The spirit houses were rebuilt at the request of the Kakaygeesick Family in order to preserve and protect the sacred area. They were rebuilt previously, many years ago. Namaypoke, Little Thunder, Kakaygeesick and Laughing Mary represent a significant part of the history of Warroad and no one would accept anything less than the true honor they deserve. This was a collaborative process that required planning between the Kakaygessick Family, Warroad High School - Indian Education and Shop Class. The Kakaygeesick Family and Community Elders were involved in the entire process, they shared teachings, smudge, ceremonies, etc. and adhered to proper protocols in accordance with their teachings to our Community known as Kaabekanong (Warroad).
The spirit houses were disintegrating through their natural process, however; the Family wanted to ensure that the specific site which was an area traditionally occupied by Indigenous people and spirit houses remained intact, in order to continue to represent the significant relationship and history of the prominent leaders. There were five spirit houses built which represented the four leaders and the fifth spirit house was built to represent and honour the other unmarked sites of those that have journeyed on.
On behalf of the Warroad Public Schools Indian Education Program, we would like to extend our sincere appreciation to Mayor Bob Marvin, Kakaygeesick Family and Mr. Edman, Teacher of the Shop Class and the Students of Warroad High School that built the spirit houses.
Gichi-Miigwech - Thank you for your support in accomplishing this important initiative that will be remembered for years to come.