Land Acknowledgement

This land sits on the stolen, unceded Indigenous lands of Turtle Island, the ancestral name for what now is called North America. More specifically, Rootsprings is located on land first stewarded by the Dakota, Ojibwe, and Anishinaabe.

With full awareness that a land acknowledgment does not begin to address the complexities of our relationship to the Indigenous stewards of this land, we offer this acknowledgment as a starting place to decolonize the connections between our communities. As a Black and Queer-led organization facilitating access for BIPOC and LGBTQ folx to connect with nature; we work to move in right relationship to the land and in alignment with Indigenous communities.


The land became known as Clare’s Well and was owned and run by the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls. The Franciscan community developed a spiritual retreat space for healing and respite for more than 25 years in their spirit of joy and connection to Earth.


The Sisters transitioned ownership to Dan and Joan Pauly Schneider, entrusting that they carry on the spiritual tradition that had been cultivated. Joan and Dan, who valued inclusivity, diversity and social-ecological justice, renamed the land Wellspring Farm and carried forward this spiritual groundedness and commitment to be in loving relationship with the land.


The Fields Retreat and Learning Center became the umbrella non-profit organization, known then as The Fields at Wellsprings Farm. The Fields developed a Community Supported Retreat model that allowed for people to purchase a share of overnight stays for the year, furthering community connection and a shared sense of belonging. This program still exists today!


For years many BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists and activists named the urgent need for healing spaces that “look like us, talk like us, and act like us.” After the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, when Minneapolis became the epicenter of the global uprising against systemic racism, this need reached a crisis point. BIPOC frontline workers were running on fumes, taking little to no time to retreat, rest, and rejuvenate while bearing the brunt of the harm resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and long-standing systemic injustices. From this, three lesbian BIPOC couples deeply steeped in Minnesota’s artist and organizing communities came together to form Rootsprings Cooperative and raise funds to purchase the land outright.

In 2020, The Fields at Rootsprings was established to provide land-based programs for the healing, development and community well-building of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists, activists, healers and communities in Minnesota and beyond.


Ownership of the land was transferred to Rootsprings Cooperative and The Fields transitioned their board to be BIPOC-led. Today,The Fields at Rootsprings continues the legacy of honoring the land while centering healing specifically for BIPOC folx who have not previously had access to healing retreat space.


After a successful $2 million cultivating campaign, the Rootsprings Coop purchased the land outright, secured funding to renovate its Wellness Center, and offered free Solidarity Stays to BIPOC community members in need of rest + respite. 

Rootsprings hosted over 400 stays between its three hermitages in 2022, supporting hundreds of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ guests with affirming space to rest, create art and heal.


The Rootsprings Cooperative is collectively led by four of its original members (pictured: Erin, Alice, Zoe, and Signe).

The Fields at Rootsprings hires 3 queer Black women as its first staff members!

Rootsprings temporarily closes to the public to begin its first major renovation to its Wellness Center (reopening scheduled for February 2024).

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