Agents of Cultural Change: The Benedictines at White Earth

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1982


Arts and Humanities | Education | History | History of Religion | Indigenous Studies | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | United States History


The Ojibway people who moved to the White Earth Reservation tried to carry on their lives as they had done before, but they were foiled to some extent by government and church missionary policies. The story of one mission to White Earth, that of the Roman Catholic Benedictines, is an example of how and why Ojibway life changed on the reservation. Three Benedictines – Father Aloysius Hermanutz, Sister Philomene Ketten, and Sister Lioba Braun – arrived at White Earth on November 5, 1878, beginning what would be 50 years apiece of missionary labor among the Ojibway.