The Southwest Colorado region has been predominantly occupied historically by Native American communities. In light of conversations between community resource agencies, behavioral health staff and Native Americans populations that have been struggling with substance abuse addiction and/or opioid addictions, the need for an alternative treatment modality has been brought to attention. In these discussions, the need for a peer recovery support program with an indigenous perspective, combined with recovery for substance abuse addiction treatment can meet the needs for Native American communities in southwest Colorado.


The Indigenous Wellbriety program provides a space for those in substance abuse recovery or seeking recovery, with compassion, cultural identity, and utilizing the Wellbriety model by White Bison.


A community of inclusivity, immersed in cultural awareness and respect for diversity for people in recovery from substance use and/or addiction.

Program Goals:

1. Strengthen cultural perspectives within the peer recovery community.

2. Deepen community relationships between organizations, Indigenous families and individuals.

3. Promote and connect Indigenous families and individuals to honor our elders and their Native American cultural traditions.

4. Provide a space where culture can be remembered, taught and celebrated using the Wellbriety model.

5. Empower self-efficacy through access to community programs and resources.

6. Provide cultural awareness, humility and competence throughout the community through cultural trainings and events.

Program Objectives:

1. Establish a sustainable program for culture, community and organization by outreaching, engaging, and connecting with Indigenous populations and programs.

2. Provide a culture safe space for individuals where they are free to express themselves in the Indigenous Recovery Program without discrimination through engagement with staff or peers.

3. Maintain program’s mission by offering Talking Circle meetings and providing educational trainings as well as assist in navigational supports to keep participants in recovery whole.

4. Provide linkage to community resources or information to enhance persons in recovery health and economic stability.

5. Hold sober cultural community events for individuals and families.

Mending Broken Hearts Training

Imo Succo and Frankiana Tsosie participated in the White Bison’s Mending Broken Hearts Training in Colorado Springs hosted by White Bison. They are now certified in providing Native American Grief and Recovery Talking Circles.

Mending Broken Hearts Talking Circles will launch in the late Fall of 2022.

“A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.”

There are four major dimensions that support recovery:

• Health—overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) or symptoms and making informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional well-being.

• Home—having a stable and safe place to live.

• Purpose—conducting meaningful daily activities and having the independence, income, and resources to participate in society.

• Community—having relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope.

Wellbriety Journey

Indigenous Peer Recovery will be implementing and utilizing White Bison’s Wellbriety curriculum. Our Indigenous Peer Recovery Coach and Mentor have been both trained in the 12 Steps Medicine Wheel and Warrior Down Training as well as Embark’s CCAR Peer Recovery training and more trainings in the future for our Indigenous Peer Recovery Coach.


About White Bison

White Bison is a Native American-operated 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to creating and sustaining a grassroots Wellbriety Movement – providing culturally-based healing to the next seven generations of Indigenous People. White Bison offers sobriety, recovery, addictions prevention, and wellness/Wellbriety learning resources to the Native American/Alaska Native community nationwide. Our resources are also available to non-Native people.

We will also be honoring some of White Bison’s Guiding Principles, which are:

• Leadership exists to serve the people first

• Leadership existence ensures Truth is given to the people

• Elders and teachings are a guiding force to direct ourselves, families and communities

• There is a natural order running the universe

• That our traditional ways were knowledgeable about the natural order

• When the community leads, the leaders will follow

• Alcohol and drugs are destroying us; we want to recover

• Change comes from within the individual, the family and the community

• Within each person, family and community is the innate knowledge for well being

• The solution resides within each community

• Interconnectedness – it takes everyone to heal a community

• Healing will take place through the application of cultural and spiritual knowledge

• Alcohol, drugs and domestic violence are all symptoms, not the cause. To “heal a community” it must deal with the cause

• The Circle and the Four Directions are the Teachers in the Four Laws of Change

• A great learning must take place

• You must create a Healing Forest


For more information about White Bison please visit:

These guiding principles from the White Bison are universal and hold many important meanings to Native American communities in the U.S. The information supports Native American thoughts and a Relational Worldview, which the National Indian Child Welfare Association[1] has created in order to understand Native American families.

Thank you to our fiscal sponsors for supporting our program.
We appreciate you!