Listen: Four Winds Treatment Center

Mainstreet Radio-Brainerd’s Rachel Reabe profiles Four Winds Treatment Center, a culturally based Native American chemical dependency treat program. Reabe highlights the annual sobriety powwow through various sounds and interviews.

[This was Rachel Reabe's first piece for MPR]


1987 Minnesota AP Award, honorable mention in Best Audio category

1987 Northwest Broadcast News Association Award, first place in Feature - Small Market category

1987 Northwest Broadcast News Association Award, award of merit in Best Audio - All Markets category


(00:00:00) I grew up with a mother. That was an alcoholic and I grew up thinking I was it was the way to be bunny is a 28 year old a jib away from the Red Lake reservation. She completed a chemical dependency program last month designed for and run by Native Americans at the Brainerd Regional Human Services Center Bunny lives in Brainerd now with her nine-year-old daughter attending classes at the community college. She returns to four wins Lodge several times a week to talk. Talk to the counselors and spiritual advisors with
(00:00:33) the Indians being there. You know, they're your people. Some of them went through the same thing. You did
(00:00:39) bunny was among the alumni to attend the annual sobriety powwow held under a full Harvest Moon Dorothy Sam who heads the all Indian counseling staff at Four Winds stood on the sidelines and watch the
(00:00:51) celebration. I guess I feel elated. I'm just proud really proud of them Sylvania here that it came here and are now singing and dancing and they're sober they found they found something to keep them alive. Keep their Spirits
(00:01:13) alive Four Winds combines the culture and traditions of the Indian people with the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous director. Jim. Helene says it Has to have work for most of the seven hundred Indians that have gone through the three year old
(00:01:27) program. The reason it works is because it's set up based on their cultural needs and their spirituality system and not General populations spiritual system and cultural background, you know, and it's operated basically by Native American counselors who are additional counselors who practice a culture Practice of spirituality and practice a variety and so they bring that into into the treatment with all the knowledge that they've gained from their Elders from the leaders in their communities that you just don't get in a classroom. They get it from them and then they bring it in here and they utilize that to help clients to go through the program. That's what makes a successful
(00:02:17) the holistic treatment approach it for wins includes Indian spiritual ceremonies the passing of the pipe and eagle feathers solitary prayer time in a teepee twice weekly sessions in the sweat lodge. The fire starters are building the blazes that will heat the rocks for that night sweat. The Red Hot Rocks will eventually be brought inside the igloo shape sweat lodge to heat the willow frame structure to an almost unbearable temperature one Fire Starter Set as many as 20 people will gather later that night in the darkness and heat of the sweat lodge to pray.
(00:02:52) A lot of people say prayers for people, you know, the people are out there still drinking or the people inside the Four Winds at are leaving the program to in order to have strength to keep this Brady and also they pray for the counselors and the guy that puts up the sweat said the one that's helping them take your fifth step and their family members one time. I was writing I was kind of in a hurry writing and and I wrote Miracle you know, we're supposed to be right Native American I wrote a native of Miracle. So to me that's what it is. It's a miracle because when they first come here, they're really angry and they're confused and there isn't a purpose in their life anymore other than for continue destroying themselves without knowing it and then once they find out that there that there is a purpose in their lives and that they are here for for a reason. And that is to take care of their lives, which is a gift you tell them their life is a gift and it was zeros to take care
(00:04:00) of counsell Dorothy Sam of the Four Winds chemical dependency treatment program in Brainerd. I'm Rachel Reabe.


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