The Wisdom Warriors program...


Provides our elders the education, support and tools to make healthy choices that promote self-care, and longevity. It’s a tribal brotherhood, a sisterhood on a journey to healing. We have a lot...A LOT to heal from. With the intergenerational trauma that our ancestors and we have gone through we desperately need healing. Bringing people together in a good way, engaging our elders, having that support to share our stories with each other, to cry, to hug and work towards healthy living together. I always say 90% percent of the responsibility for our health belongs to us and only 10% belongs to the clinic. I mean it. We can heal from chronic diseases and the historical trauma that has caused incredible suffering of generations past and present, and we don’t have to do it alone.

 
Story Teller
 

A lot of our high school students

coming out of tribal school are addicted to opioids.  These kids are growing up really connected to each other.  So, you can get the whole group addicted very quickly. We do have a problem with it.  We are a small community and we all know people now that have died. We are having a real problem curing this.  I know one young man who died in the last couple months who was waiting to get help.  Trying to get treatment he was waiting and he died of an overdose before then.  Right now my own child is going everyday to get her methadone. If I wasn't there she would miss a bunch of those doses and the clinic doesn't let you miss. You have to have an excuse to miss.  You have got to make sure that you have transportation support.  For a lot this is a family problem. If you are hooked on drugs and you have alcoholic parents, they are not going to be able to provide you with the support. Take you there if your car breaks down, buy you gas because you can’t work.  If you can’t work then a lot of these people end up living at home with their parents.  They're lucky if they have a parent that isn't on alcohol or drugs.  For a lot of them their parents can't provide the support, the community can't provide the support, which leads to us being unable to rescue them, and then death.  

 
Story Teller
 

Walk In Beauty

''How do I walk in beauty?  By realizing that cultural identity is the strongest thing that a person can have. Without that who are you? Who's beliefs do you take on? If you want to heal you need to know who you are. You need to know where you come from. Without that there's no path."

 
Story Teller
 

Flowers, Part II

''… and one day he says to me “Well… even though I’m a guy i still like flowers” I laughed so hard.  He wanted blue and green flowers because that honors his sister.  So then the next year we had about 15 gardens, and last year counting everyone who had pots or anything we had about 40.

You see when there is a lot of death, a lot of sickness, we can still go out and see that the pumpkins are ok, the roses are coming up.  Kinda the cycle of life that gives a broader sense of connection that helps sustain through. The biggest change I've seen is engagement and physical activity.  Engagement with outdoors and nature.  Really engaged in the planning, their property, the land just being outdoors and being more connected to the birds, the bees and flowers. The little grandkids get involved,  “Can I put one or two seeds in grandma?”  Even if they only plant one thing, thats still important! The planning and process creates hope because even in the darkness of winter we can talk about what will be planted next spring."

 
Story Teller
 

Flowers, Part I

"First of all, I was an in home care-giver.  I was taking care of this lady who would cry all the day.  So I asked her, "Can you think of a time when you were happy?" and she said, "I used to garden. My son once had built me a garden."  So, we put in a garden, all the flowers she could remember, this fountain and started to add bird feeders.  As she got weaker, we started to put her flowers higher so she could look out the window and see them. Then we got these other things, they are so great, bird feeders you stick to the window. And right before she died she told me, "Oh hummy came to visit me today."  She had named him, the hummingbird."

 
Story Teller
 

"My copper skinned mother

she had the most beautiful dark skin, brought a flat of flowers to his grave every year.  It was the post World War II era and my father was home from the war.  My baby brother was 4 months old and was experiencing respiratory distress and my mother rushed him to the hospital.  She sat in the emergency room waiting room, begging the nurses to take her baby, begging them to help.  He died right there in her arms, in that waiting room."

 
Story Teller
 

"I was riding my bike as fast as I could

and down by the airport a woman turned right in front of me. She wasn't even looking. The bike flipped over, I landed on my head and my back. When I went to the hospital they just gave me pills for my back, released me, and referred me to a chiropractor. Well, a year later I was getting worse and worse migraines. I kept going back to IHS, and they kept giving me these pills. But now I'm starting to see these dark circles as I'm driving, like clouds.  I went to an eye doctor, he says that there was indication of an explosion behind my eyes and I needed to see a specialist.  The specialist said "You need brain surgery immediately."  I had brain trauma from the bike accident, they never even looked at my head."

 
Story Teller
 

"I NEVER THOUGHT

I would be the one to get the boys after they lost their mother, my sister. My husband and I always wanted a lot of children, so the opportunity to have two more made perfect sense. Overnight we became responsible for 5 children. Suddenly the hoops we would have to jump through for my nephews began to present themselves.  Basics like finding them healthcare coverage kept me up at night. They were on Medicaid in their home state, but had relocated to another state with us and enrolling them was a cumbersome, lengthy experience. Months went by before they had confirmed coverage, enrollment in private insurance wasn't an option, and the nearest Indian Health Service option was over 400 miles away. As fate would have it, as soon as their coverage was confirmed we had to move to another state, and the whole broken system began again for us."

 
Story Teller