I’ve been fortunate enough to have had volunteer experiences in the substance abuse/treatment community, and in Native American tribal community…but never put them together. I am no expert in either, but I will tell you, it would be impossible to be MORE proud than I have been of several of the young people I’ve worked with in each group.
Substance abuse is a hard-ass issue confronting almost any demographic, and life on the reservation is not without an unfair share of stumbling blocks like excessive drug and alcohol use. The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations serves adolescents 13-17 years old from any cultural or ethnic background, and grounds their work in native teachings from the Coeur d’Alene, Nez Perce, and Kootenai tribes of Idaho, Oregon’s Confederated Tribes of he Umatilla Reservation, and the Kalispel, Spokane, and Colville Reservation tribes of Washington. Day treatment and residential programs serve youth through all seasons on a 45-acre campus, and in addition to chemical dependence issue, supplemental services include family education, cultural programs, medical care, an alternative school, recreation program, advanced aftercare support, music/expressive arts program, and supportive mental health services. In a respectful environment of cultural diversity, true healing can happen, amid ceremony and ritual, support and hard work.
If you have never been part of Native Community, or have never wrestled with addiction yourself, you have no idea the challenges being met by these miraculous young people every single day. See if there is a way you can help to make sure the work continues.