Tag: Culture

Native American Heritage Month

The arrival of Native American Heritage Month heralds a deeply personal journey for me, a Blackfoot woman steadfastly navigating the intricate path of recovery. Within the expansive tapestry of indigenous cultures, I discover not only solace and strength but a profound connection to my roots that serves as the cornerstone of my journey of self-discovery. Engaged in tribal liaison work with Montana tribes, this month transcends mere celebration; it stands as a testament to the transformative power of cultural heritage, weaving through my role as a mother and illuminating the unique lens of recovery from an American Indian woman’s perspective.

The Importance of Mental Health Awareness

When I started getting diagnosed with mental health conditions, I was still a teenager. I was ashamed, scared, and felt like I was doomed. I come from a family that has both mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders, so I was aware of what they both can look like. It hit me hard, and even though I had seen struggles within my family’s dynamics, I still held shame and guilt from my situation. I later learned that the shame and guilt was not mine to carry, but before that, I carried it like I was packing luggage around, everywhere I went.

Practices, Principles, and Purpose of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a big part of a healing journey. It takes a lot of acceptance to be able to forgive and to acknowledge there is a need to understand that whatever it is that is holding one back, or is causing inner conflicts, is not always ours to own. We do not have to completely understand the reasoning behind one’s negative doing to us, we don’t ever have to forget, but being able to forgive, can allow healing and growth to continue.  

Beyond Recovery

Living a life to develop the best results in growth and healing, I have learned to be open and mindful of multiple pathways recovery entails. Beyond the inpatient, outpatient, justice programming, and whatever else was “expected” of me, I have dipped into reconnecting to my traditional, American Indian ways.

Living in Color

Culture develops my belief system, that develops my traditions, that gives me a sense of self within a community. Culture gives me my values; it tells me how to live my life.

Family Culture

Over the years I have thought a lot about the culture of my family and what I want it to be. Particularly, how I want it to be different from my parents’ culture that I was raised in. And the ways I would like it to be the same. One thing in my life that I have a lot of control over is the culture in my family and our home.

Indigenous First Nations Culture and Heritage

This month is National Native American Heritage Month, acknowledging Indigenous First Nations. I am a member of the Blackfoot Confederated Nation, the Amskapii Piikani Band. We are one band of a six-clan band, and the only band of our nation in the United States. Our culture is prevention on so many levels. Having a connection to both Indigenous First Nations knowledge and the Westernized knowledge can be very helpful in recovery.

Culture in Recovery

There are many forms of culture that we can address when it comes to recovery. Over the years it has been a piece of my professional development that I have had to work on. I think for me I needed to understand my own culture to be able to recognize and appreciate other forms of culture.

Seasonal Changes

It’s the season of changes. During this time of the year, we can have a mixture of emotions that we are feeling, dealing, and coping with. Everyone in recovery has their own story and I know for me, mine involves a lot of good times, amazing times, and a lot of traumatic times too.

Recovery is Life

Recovery is the beginning of positive change and evolving into the spirit and human being an individual was meant to be. It’s the bond and balance of body, mind, and soul. It is the discovery of who Creator really made an individual to be.