WHW has been providing culturally based peer lead services for Native Americans at its behavioral health location in Bangor Maine since October of 2017. The current Peer Run Recovery Program offers over 500 structured group session per year with over 400 unduplicated individuals participating in those sessions. Approximately half of those individuals complete a formal curriculum on goal setting, self-management, and problem solving. During the COVID-19 restrictions, many of these sessions are being held through virtual platforms and through teleconferences.
This is a program for people who are looking for supports to access treatment programs, supports in building life skills, and learning how to live a sober healthy life. Our Peer Support Specialists have all attended the Certified Intentional Peer Support Specialist Training Program offered through the State of Maine.
Located in Millinocket, is a safe place for those in recovery to come to get recovery coaching, find out about helpful resources, find a mentor or mentee, assistance with a resume or coaching for a job interview. WPHW and Pir2Peer have been partners in creating a community of recovery in rural central Maine. Both organizations have worked together to support not only the needs of Wabanaki people but to support a broader community of recovery in which each organization can thrive, share resources, and learn from one another.
Wabanaki Wellness through Recovery is a program under Wabanaki Public Health’s Kèləwahk Nèpison “the good medicine” Division that serves Wabanaki communities in recovery by promoting community wellness through cultural teaching, healing, and practice. This is a safe space for sharing, support, and information. We focus on supporting tribal members in recovery or seeking support to begin the journey.
WPHW holds space for 9 weekly recovery meetings. Due to Covid restrictions, these are being held virtually. These meetings focus on the Wellbriety Medicine Wheel/12-Step teachings.
Realizing that there was a need for a 12-step program that had a foundation in traditional Native American principles, White Bison created the Elders Circle of meditations and wrote a version of the 12 steps that reflected the guiding principles of Honesty, Hope, Faith, Courage, Integrity, Willingness, Humility, Forgiveness, Justice, Perseverance, Spiritual Awareness, and Service. The Wellbriety teachings bring an understanding and acknowledgment to the historical traumas that Indigenous Peoples throughout the United States and Canada have experienced since colonization. These generational traumas have led to a higher number of addictions than any other minority group. The recognition that to heal from Substance Use Disorder (SUD), there was a need for a path that went hand in hand with a Native American Spirituality.
The Wellbriety Movement started in 1994 by Don Coyhis. The name Wellbriety was derived from Passamaquoddy word meaning living sober and well. The word was given to Don Coyhis by a Passamaquoddy Elder in the early 1990s. Since the establishment of the Wellbriety movement, it has grown to offer trainings in peer supports through their Warrior Down Recovery Coaching Program, Wellbriety in the Family to allow the families of people who have SUD to heal along with the individual. Another addition to their programming offered is Mending the Broken Heart. This program offers separate healings for men, women, and youth who are looking for supports for working through the intergenerational and historical trauma that is so prevalent in Indigenous communities