1 1 WELCOME! to the Grassroots Wellbriety Curriculum (7 Trainings) White Bison is honored that you have decided to consider implementing the Grassroots Wellbriety Curriculum in your community. This document provides an overview of the teachings and philosophy that is embedded in this curriculum. We would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the themes of the Wellbriety Movement to help you have a better understanding of the importance of this curriculum and, especially, the importance of its implementation using a 3-day conference format that includes 7 trainings. The following pages provide background concepts for the Wellbriety Movement, the Healing Forest Model, the Grassroots Wellbriety Curriculum, and the resources available through the Center for the Wellbriety Movement on our White Bison website. Thank you for recognizing the importance of the Wellbriety Movement to the Native American Nations and thank you for your interest in making the Grassroots Wellbriety Curriculum a part of your community s journey to wellness. In Wellbriety, Don Coyhis, President
2 2 Grassroots Wellbriety Curriculum--7 Trainings Purpose: Train community members to deliver 7 trainings in their communities that can begin the healing process for individuals and families, and the community. Rationale: During the Hoop Journey in the Summer of 2002, it became apparent that wellness as a community objective has been established in many Native American communities. Active members of the Native American recovery communities are looking for culturally relevant resources for training related to prevention, treatment, recovery and community change. This need has helped to shape the development of the Grassroots Wellbriety Curriculum. One of the significant issues identified by the Native American recovery community was recognition of the disruption in the relationships with family and friends that occurs as individuals begin a recovery journey. Sometimes this is referred to as recovery trauma. The habits, patterned way of responding, assumptions, expectations and values that were important when family members and community members were actively using alcohol or substances become ineffective and confusion results among family members and within the community. Recovery is not just for the person dealing with addictions or substance abuse, but for family and friends as well. It is important to attend to the needs of each person in the circle of the individual in recovery. Healing needs to come in a form that impacts everyone connected to the addicted person, because everyone around that person has been affected by his or her addiction. When a person enters his or her own recovery journey a ripple effect goes out to the spouse, children, extended family members, friends and neighbors. An environment of healing needs to be created for the individual in recovery and for those in his or her circle. It is for that reason that the Wellbriety Movement has an emphasis on providing train-the-trainer training for multiple (7) programs to be implemented simultaneously in a community. These seven trainings are referred to as The Grassroots Wellbriety Curriculum. How it works: Your community will need to identify the individuals who would attend these trainings. Here is a suggested pattern: 6 people who will attend the training for the Medicine Wheel and 12 Steps for men 6 people who will attend the training for the Medicine Wheel and 12 Steps for women 6 people who will attend the training for the Medicine Wheel and 12 Steps for Al-Anon/ACOA 6 people who will attend the facilitator training for the Daughters of Tradition 6 people who will attend facilitator training for the Sons of Tradition 6 people who will attend the training for Children of Alcoholics 6 people who will attend the training for Families of Tradition Total: 42 (It is not necessary that the same number of people be in each training--the participant numbers can be determined according to the interest and needs of your community.)
3 3 These trainings last for three days. Five separate rooms will be required in order to conduct these trainings. Each training occurs at the same time as the other trainings. When the training is finished, these trainers will be able to start groups for men in recovery, women in recovery, Daughter of Tradition (DOT I) age 8-12, Daughters of Tradition (DOT II) ages 13-17, Sons of Tradition (SOT) age 13-17, Children of Alcoholics (COA) all ages, Indian Al-Anon groups, Adult Children of Alcoholics and Families of Tradition groups. Curriculum materials will be made available for each of the trainings (see pages 7-9). For the adult programs, once these individuals learned how to facilitate the curriculum modules, they would set up circles themselves. The DOT, SOT and COA programs are designed to train adult facilitators who would then conduct sessions with youth, or who would train others who work with youth. This format addresses several issues identified by members of the Native American recovery community: 1) the need to develop a support system within the family and the community for those participating in the recovery journey; and 2) the need to provide education and awareness for friends, family, and community members whose lives are impacted by those who begin their recovery journey; 3) the need to provide cost effective, culturally appropriate prevention, treatment, intervention, and recovery resources for grassroots communities; and 4) the need to provide opportunities for individuals, families, and communities to take steps to implement their own vision of wellness. Wellness Coalitions: Once these trainings are completed, the participants could continue to meet with each other in their own communities and form a Wellness Coalition from which further Wellbriety events/activities could be developed. Culturally Appropriate Training Programs: Each of the 7 trainings has been developed around Teachings of Native American Elders from many nations. The goal was to find those teachings that were common across many communities and to encourage each community to incorporate its own traditional and spiritual practices as part of the program. The attached pages review some of the teachings, describe the positioning of the 7 trainings in the larger systemic community development process, and provide a brief description of each of the 7 trainings that make up the Grassroots Wellbriety Curriculum (7 Trainings).
4 4 Sample Schedule for the Grassroots Wellbriety Curriculum (7 Trainings )Event Day One 8:30am-9:00am Opening Ceremony 9:00am-12:00noon General Session...all participants meet together 12:00noon-1:00pm Lunch on your own 1:00pm-5:30pm Room A MW12 Steps for Men, Women, Al- Anon/ACOA Room B Families of Tradition Room C DOT I and DOT II Room D SOT Room E COA Break for Dinner Dinner on your own Day Two 8:30am-9:00am Opening Ceremony 9:00am-12:00noon Room A MW12 Steps for Men, Women, Al- Anon/ACOA Room B Families of Tradition Room C DOT I and DOT II Room D SOT Room E COA 12:00noon-1:00pm Lunch on your own 1:00pm-5:30pm Room A MW12 Steps for Men, Women, Al- Anon/ACOA Room B Families of Tradition Room C DOT I and DOT II Room D SOT Room E COA Break for Dinner Dinner on your own Day Three 8:30am-9:00am Opening Ceremony 9:00pm12:00noon Room A MW12 Steps for Men, Women, Al- Anon/ACOA Room B Families of Tradition Room C DOT I and DOT II Room D SOT Room E COA 12:00noon-1:00pm Lunch on your own 1:00pm-4:00pm Room A MW12 Steps for Men, Women, Al- Anon/ACOA Room B Families of Tradition Room C DOT I and DOT II Room D SOT Room E COA 4:00am-5:30pm General Session Closing Ceremony
5 5 Recruitment of Participants for the Event The Grassroots Wellbriety Curriculum -- 7 Trainings Event is designed to provide a recovery support system for the local community. There are seven different trainings that people can learn to facilitate. Within those seven, there are two ways to particpate in the Medicine Wheel and 12 Step training. One is to participate in order to become a facilitator and train others (these people must meet the criteria for Firestarters listed below). Some people might wish to participate in the Medicine Wheel and 12 Step training for their own recovery journey, but do not wish to become Firestarters or they might not meet the requirements for Firestarter Certification. These individuals would also be welcome in the training. They would receive a Certificate of Attendance and the opportunity to apply for Firestarter Certification if they meet those requirements at a future date. Criteria for Firestarters: The Firestarter application is located at the White Bison website: under the Wellbriety Movement button. There are several criteria that must be met in order for an individual to qualify for Firestarter Training: Individual must be sober for one year prior to training. Has experience in Recovery (Al-Anon, AA, Gamblers Anonymous, NA, etc. Has demonstrated Recovery leadership in their own community. Is personally familiar with the 12 Steps Is willing to work on themselves emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Is willing to make a 4 year commitment to facilitate the trainings. Individuals submit their completed applications to White Bison for review and then are notified of their eligibility. Facilitating Youth Programs and the Families of Tradition Because of the concern many communities have expressed about the safety of their children with adults, we have asked for communities to do two things in selecting potential facilitators for the Daughters of Tradition, Sons of Tradition, and Children of Alcoholics: Choose healthy adults who have demonstrated sober life-styles That individuals who work with youth participate in a background check
6 Implementing the 7 Trainings Event Conference Format: The 7 trainings event is set up like a mini conference. The flow of the event is to have a general session on the first morning, and then have participants breakout into their pre-designated trainings. (See the chart that outlines the sessions). That means that those who signed up for Daughters of Tradition facilitator training, for instance, would attend all of the sessions designed for that training. A person would be able to participate in only one of the 7 trainings. Those who signed up for Firestarters training (Medicine Wheel and 12 Steps) would participate in that taining throughout the three days. The schedule for trainings for each of the 7 Trainings is as follows: Day One: 8:30am -5:30pm Day Two: 8:30am -5:30pm Day Three: 8:30am -5:30pm 6 Facilities Needed: To accommodate this event, a facility that has a large room and 4 smaller break out rooms is needed. The large room that would accommodate all participants in a general session and that would also serve as a training room for the three Medicine Wheel and 12 Step trainings There would need to be four (4) smaller rooms that would provide adequate space for the facilitator trainings for Daughters of Tradition, Sons of Tradition, Children of Alcoholics, and the Families of Tradition. Each day, the following equipment will be needed: LCD (in the large room) TV/VCR for each of the rooms Overhead projector for one room Flip Chart and Markers for each of the rooms Refreshments will be an important part of the event. Coffee, morning and afternoon snacks would be considered in the refreshments. Lunch or dinner could be on your own or perhaps there would be a local option for participants. The local community is responsible for arranging for the facilities, equipment rental, and for the refreshments needed for the event. Funding Options: We invite you to discuss funding options with a White Bison, Inc. representative at
7 7 Four Laws of Change Change comes from within In order for development to occur, it must be preceded by a vision A great learning must occur You must create a healing forest The Healing Forest Model illustrates that anger, guilt, shame and fear are underneath alcoholism, codependency and other community issues, as an unhealthy root system. The Healing Forest Model stresses that alcoholism, codependency, or violence and other issues must be addressed at the root system. In addition, the issues must all be addressed together and simultaneously--they are interrelated and they are also interconnected by the roots-- a fear-based system. The way to get rid of these unhealthy root systems is to replace them with spiritual principles. The Seven Trainings help with this replacement. The Healing Forest Model provides a cultural and spiritual approach to community development. The numbers in the model refer to the trainings designed to address the issue. These are described on the next page.
8 8 Grassroots Wellbriety Curriculum (7 Trainings) Facilitator Training The Third Law is that a Great Learning Must Occur. The Grassroots Wellbriety Curriculum is a collection of 7 trainings that provide the foundation for individuals, families, and community leaders to begin shaping their community into a Healing Forest. The seven trainings that make up Grassroots Wellbriety Curriculum are to be implemented simultaneously in a three day intensive session. These trainings provide prevention, treatment and recovery tools and strategies. (The numbers under each title refer to the issues that are illustrated in the Healing Forest Model.) The Curriculum is designed to train individuals to facilitate the seven programs in their communities. The actual implementation strategy, costs, and logistics for the Grassroots Wellbriety Curriculum can be obtained by contacting White Bison, Inc. at
9 9 Grassroots Wellbriety Kit Training Programs Medicine Wheel and 12 Steps for Women The Medicine Wheel and 12 Step program was developed to provide a culturally appropriate 12 Step program for Native American people. This program was developed by White Bison, based upon Teachings of the Medicine Wheel, the Cycle of Life and the Four Laws of Change. The program includes workbooks and videos: 9 videos for women and the 7 videos for men. Medicine Wheel and 12 Steps for Men The Medicine Wheel and 12 Step program was developed to provide a culturally appropriate 12 Step program for Native American people. This program was developed by White Bison, based upon Teachings of the Medicine Wheel, the Cycle of Life and the Four Laws of Change. The program includes workbooks and videos: 9 videos for women and the 7 videos for men. Medicine Wheel and 12 Steps for Friends and Families of Alcoholics (Al-Anon) This is a Medicine Wheel and 12 Step program (with 9 videos) designed for Friends and Family of people affected by alcohol. It focuses on such issues as codependency, taking care of one s self, and learning to let go. Daughters of Tradition I and Daughters of Tradition II This is a prevention education program for Native American girls age 8-12 (DOT I) and age 13-17(DOT II). It is designed to coincide with the school year and also to extend over the summer months. The primary theme of the DOT I program is being good at something, being good for something. The primary theme of the DOT II program is developing an identity as a Native American woman. Each program is based upon the teachings of the Native American Elders and Clan Mothers. The curriculum kits include posters, activity books, journals, facilitator manuals and support videos.
10 Sons of Tradition This is a prevention education program for Native American boys age It is designed to coincide with the school year and other weekly programs, and also to extend over the summer months. The focus of this program is establishing identity and learning what it is to be a Native American man. The curriculum is based upon the teachings of the Native American Elders and Clan Mothers. It consists of the Seven Philosophies, a set of posters, and a workbook. Facilitators receive these materials along with a set of instructional videos, a facilitator s manual and lesson guides. Facilitators are trained in a three day program that introduces them to the principles, laws, and values that form the basis of the program, options for using the curriculum, and how to use talking circles and mind mapping, which are integral to the training program. Families of Tradition This training explores family dynamics, relationships, roles, parenting, conflict management, and the development of trust and respect in the family. It is based upon the teachings of the Medicine Wheel and how to use family Talking Circles to help families heal. Workbooks and videos support this training. 10 Native American Children of Alcoholics This series is designed to provide a supportive and nurturing environment for young people to learn how the talking circle can develop trust, provide healing and support and develop hope for young people whose families are affected by alcohol abuse. This curriculum was developed by National Association for Children of Alcoholics and the Substance Abuse for Mental Health Services Admistration. White Bison provided technical assistance for ensuring that the curriculum would be appropriate for Native American communities. The Elders have told us that we have entered the Coming Together Time in which a great healing can occur among individuals, families, communities and nations.
11 11 Additional Support Information Wellbriety: sober and healthy lifestyle that is balanced emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Sacred Hoop Journeys: The symbol of the Wellbriety Movement is the Sacred Hoop of 100 Eagle Feathers. Each Eagle Feather represents one Native American community in healing. The vision of White Bison and the Wellbriety Movement is to have 100 Native American communities in healing by the year The Sacred Hoop brings with it Four Gifts: Hope, Healing, Forgiving the Unforgivable, and Unity. Following the Blessing of the Sacred Hoop at the Gathering of the Elders in 1994, the Sacred Hoop was carried to individual communities as an outreach effort to share the message of hope, healing, forgiveness and unity. In 1998, as a result of a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, White Bison was able to begin a series of Hoop Journeys. In 1999, the Sacred Hoop was carried to 32 Tribal Colleges across the United States. At each site, participants were urged to make a commitment to live sober and healthy lives. This journey was called the Healing of the Nations. In 2000, a dedicated group of Hoop Carriers walked the Sacred Hoop from Los Angeles to Washington DC. 129 communities participated in this Journey. More than 5000 people were touched in some way by this journey to end domestic violence. It was titled: Wiping the Tears. A video documentary of these two Journeys is available at the White Bison website: In 2002, a circle of western cities was made as the Sacred Hoop was carried to Native American communities in urban locations West of the Mississippi. This Journey was dedicated to Healing Native Women and Children. In 2003, the Sacred Hoop was carried to Native American communities in urban and reservation communities East of the Mississippi. This Journey was dedicated to Healing Native Men and Children. A video documentary was produced for each of these Journeys and is also available on the website.
12 12 Firestarters and the Circles of Recovery: To support and sustain the Wellbriety Movement, White Bison implemented the Medicine Wheel and 12 Step program for Native American men and women in recovery. This 12 Step program is designed to include community traditional cultural and spiritual practices. This enables Native Americans in recovery to participate in a continuum of recovery designed and delivered by peers. Firestarters are Native Americans who have been in recovery for a least one year and who agree to serve as facilitators for others who wish to continue their own recovery using the Medicine Wheel and 12 Step program. The groups facilitated by Firestarters are designated as Circles of Recovery. A listing of these groups, by state, is located on the White Bison website. Firestarters certification programs are available for the following areas: Medicine Wheel and 12 Steps for Men Medicine Wheel and 12 Steps for Women Medicine Wheel and 12 Steps for Friends and Family (Al-Anon) Firestarters are also encouraged to participate in the Train-the-trainer programs to lead youth programs: Daughters of Tradition I (age 8-12 year old girls) Daughters of Tradition II (age year old girls) Sons of Tradition (age year old boys) Native American Children of Alcoholics Program Kit (developed by NACoA and SAMHSA and adapted for Native American communities)
13 13 Recovery Resources for the Wellbriety Movement Center for the Wellbriety Movement: The White Bison website at serves as a center for Wellbriety. At this location, individuals can apply to become Firestarters, find dates for upcoming trainings, purchase resources from the Online Store, keep informed about the Wellbriety Movement through the Wellbriety! Online Magazine, participate in weekly chat room conversations, post messages on the discussion board, or find links to resources for grant writing, recovery, treatment and prevention resources, and sign up for the daily Meditations with the Native American Elders. National Wellbriety Plan: Over the next year, White Bison will be leading various coalitions of community organizations in the development of a comprehensive Wellbriety Plan that provide an implementation model for integrating treatment, prevention, intervention, recovery and mental health services as part of the overall community development plan. National Native American Coalition for Wellbriety: As part of the expansion of the Wellbriety Movement, White Bison is inviting Native American organizations that provide treatment, prevention or recovery resources and services to become part of a coalition to create a VOICE for the Native American community. It is important for us to let the policy makers and funding organizations know what our needs are and what types of programs are culturally appropriate. We believe that we would have more influence as a coalition than as individual organizations. National Native American Wellbriety Month: Each September is National Native American Wellbriety Month. During this time, we ask that each community sign a proclamation recognizing the importance of recovery and Wellbriety as a part of is overall community policies and programs. We also encourage each community to implement activities such as Wellbriety Runs, powwows, panels, speakers, and potlucks in honor of Wellbriety. Red Road to Wellbriety: In the Native American Way This culturally appropriate recovery book was designed and developed by peers in the Native American recovery community. It contains teachings that will help individuals implement their own journey to wellness and sobriety. Many use it as a textbook to accompany the Medicine Wheel and 12 Steps program.
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