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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Warrior Down

WüNüT’ was well represented at this week’s Warrior Down Recovery Coach Training that took place at the Paiute-Shoshone Cultural Center on Jan. 19-21. The training was conducted by Blaine "Woody" Woods (Cherokee) who came down from Idaho. Woody is the Executive Director of Wellbriety for Prisons, Inc and a strong representative of White Bison’s Wellbriety Movement. During the three day program, community members made great strides in becoming better prepared to welcome back our relatives who are incarcerated or in rehab.

On Day 1, we opened up with a group prayer and talking circle, allowing everyone present to speak their hearts and build understanding. It was a powerful circle that revealed we have many invaluable relatives who have gone through recovery and ready to work towards healing our community and many who are doing their best to become well again. For those who’ve never experienced a path of addiction, much awareness was gained and compassion shared.

We then learned about and discussed the root causes and inter-generational effects of historical trauma on a people. The group discussed the conflicts and forced removal of our ancestors from the valley and numerous relocations as we transitioned from our traditional ways to sedentary life on various reservations throughout the valley. The people have gone through huge changes that caused an entire way of life to be altered. Our community continues to suffer from the effects of these traumas today.

On Day 2, we got right down to business. The day was spent assessing the resources that are currently available (both on and off rez) to support returning relatives in areas such as housing, economic development, health and human services, cultural resources, as well as what resources are currently missing. We then organized these brainstorms into something that can be made into a resource handbook. The day ended with a team building exercise that demonstrated how we are all connected and affected by the unseen world as much, if not more than the things we do see. This was effective at showing how our current path determines our eventual destination. Our present reality is the result of a perfect plan created by the path we are on.

Day 3 brought practical application of the tools we learned the previous two days. Community members were given the task of role playing individuals in need, while others were challenged to give the individual a needs assessment and provide assistance setting up a recovery plan.

The training concluded with laying out a plan for next steps to build a support system that will be self-sustaining in our community, as well the group honoring an individual for their personal healing and commitment to help others who are on that path. Many good words and blessings were offered to this inspiring individual. May all good things come on the next steps of your journey.

Overall, the training brought many people together and provided us the tools and motivation to know we have everything we need to heal our community RIGHT HERE. A big THANK YOU goes out to Woody for traveling all this way to share his story and help us to help each other.


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