In 2018 I will turn 75 years old, and we started White Bison 30 years ago. During a meditation in the beginning of 2018, I realized I walk around with intentions of telling people something nice about themselves but I don’t do it and keep putting it off because I am too busy. So this year, I made a list of people and organizations that I intend to say what I have been holding in and want them to know.
Many years ago, when White Bison Inc. was starting out, I had the opportunity to visit NARA. I actually had not heard of them before. Upon arrival to their treatment facility, I first saw a well used Sweat Lodge outside. As I entered the facility at lunch time, there were happy children running around playing. This was the first I had ever heard of treating the mom and allowing her children to be a part of the treatment process. I further learned the center of their treatment strategy was having Native Elders on staff using the Culture as the path to follow for their Native clients, plus using the latest treatment strategies. My thought as I was returning home was “This is the best kept secret that needs to be told all over Indian Country.” If you want your people to heal, send them to NARA!
As we developed White Bison, we frequently consulted with NARA as they had been using this approach for many years before anyone else. Treating the whole family which was the secret. Treatment works, the Path to follow is the Culture.
One of our 4 Directions teachings says, the Creator designed us to develop ourselves in 4 directions: Emotional, Mental, Physical, and Spiritual. Treatment addresses all four of these directions and the culture addresses the spiritual.
This is the reason Treatment Works, and Culture is the Path. I hope I never see NARA change its approach to treatment. I have traveled all over our Turtle Island during the last 30 years, and have seen there are hundreds and hundreds of NARA graduates still sober and leading our people.
I have been meaning to say thank you to Phillip and NARA for setting the footprints in the snow for all of us to follow. May the Creator continue to bless your path. May you be given the insight to continue to be Mission Driven, Spirit Lead.