MOTHER NATION CULTURAL SERVICES
Mother Nation’s cultural services are delivered onsite by credentialed Elders and Staff with the GOAL to enhance women’s overall health and wellness. All Circle of Life Series workshops may include Gathering of Women sweat or Talking Circle. All workshops and classes offer CEU through Northwest Indian College (copy of enrollment card required with registration)
C i r c l e o f L i f e : # 1 – D r e a m c a t c h e r
A gathering of women morning sweat or Talking Circle is offered to build trust, prepare mind, body and spirit through educational therapy on topics presented in workshop. Participants build a dream catcher out of hoops, sinew and pony beads. Each Pony bead represents a milestone in life from birth to adulthood. Participants present their work to the group viewing their life in its entirety past the stage of onset to who they are today. Facilitator Elder Arlene Red Elk, MA—Jamestown S’Klallam + 2 NWIN Mentee helpers
C i r c l e o f L i f e : # 2 – Medicine Wheel Teachings
A gathering of women morning sweat or Talking Circle is offered to build trust, prepare mind, body and spirit through educational therapy on teachings of the medicine wheel. Participants chose which rocks appeal to them to build their medicine wheel. This activity will visualize the four elements of self: Mental (thinking), Physical (wellness), Emotional (feeling), Culture (values). Participants build their wheel, make a medicine pouch and present their creation. Facilitator- Elder Arlene Red Elk, MA Jamestown and 2 NWIN Mentee Helpers
C i r c l e o f L i f e : # 3 – D y n a m i c s o f A n g e r :
A gathering of women morning sweat or Talking Circle is offered to build trust, prepare mind, body and spirit through educational therapy on the dynamics of anger. Educational therapy on the physiological effects anger has on the body due to PTSD and other traumatic disorders caused by violence and abuse. Participants do a body drawing, identify seven things that upset them followed by artwork on physiological effects anger has on their body. Participants learn techniques on how to manage anger and redirect it in a healthy way
presenting their drawing with role playing. Facilitator: Elder Arlene Red Elk, MA Jamestown S’Klallam + 2 Helpers
C i r c l e o f L i f e : # 4 — Walk a Mile In My Moccasins
A gathering of women morning sweat or Talking Circle is offered to build trust, prepare mind, body and spirit through educational therapy on a woman’s path of life. Women observe their path of past, and life of trauma to present life to who they are today. Teachings on how to respect who we are today and how the ancestors cleared our path to carry on. Our moccasins show our journey in life to who we are today. Participants make a pair of baby moccasins with moose hide. Facilitator: Elder Arlene Red Elk, MA Jamestown S’Klallam + 2 Helpers
C i r c l e o f L i f e : # 5 — Tree of Life
Gathering of women sweat or Talking Circle is offered to build trust, prepare mind, body and spirit. Interactive educational therapy on understanding the impacts of historical trauma and changing the dynamics of Native American families. Excellent workshop for large groups. Facilitator: Elder Arlene Red Elk, MA Jamestown S’Klallam + one helper.
Circle of Life Series #6 – Lessons on the Cradleboard
What were some of the goals of traditional parenting? Teaching boundaries, moral development, respect, right from wrong and understanding the consequences. Guide to women suffering from trauma to discuss how they were parented as a child and parenting today while learning traditional roles within a family. Participants make cradleboards. Arlene Red Elk, MA Jamestown S’Klallam and one helpers from Mentorship program.
Circle of Life Series #7 – Domestic Violence/VAWA
A Gathering of Women morning sweat or Talking Circle is offered to build trust, prepare mind, body and spirit. Educational therapy. A cultural designed packet is worked on for participants to identify with the cycle of abuse to new behaviors and roles of the women in Native communities. Participants interact and share stories, connecting global issues to their own, and sharing experiences that are specific to Native women. A Gathering of Women sweat follows the group. Workshop offered twice.
Circle of Life Series #8 – Domestic Violence/VAWA
Educational therapy on the impacts of domestic violence. Cultural packet, discussion on roots, cycle of abuse, to new behaviors and roles of women in Native communities. Participants go into Talking Circle sharing their own stories. A Gathering of Women sweat follows the group ending with food, prayer and song.
Circle of Life Series #9 – Healing from the Heart
An introduction to Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. Introductions with dialogue on the incidences of sexual victimization against Native women with trigger cautions. Definition of sexual abuse. Participants are asked to write their name on a heart and after each letter write something good about yourself share with group Incidence of SA in Indian Country and Cultural Responses to sexual violence with a Talking Circle to close discussions. This group is closed off with a Gathering of Women Sweatlodge.
Offered in a custom designed training component for front-line staff, Tribal Leadership and Native women’s groups.
Circle of Life Series #10 – Angie and the Spirit Animals
Participants learn the importance of disclosure through hands on activity creating a scenery, background and puppets for the play. During the preparation, dialogue from the sweat continues on sexual assault and disclosure. Participants perform in a puppet play of a little native girl named Angie with fears of disclosure of sexual abuse and seeks the support of the spirit animals from bear all the way to Eagle who carries the message to the community on the wrong done to the little girl Angie. A Gathering of Women’s Sweatlodge follows ending with food, song and prayer.
Native Chemical Dependency Classes
Native Chemical Dependency classes offer a variety of cultural classes on the dynamics drugs and alcohol has on our family, relationships including self, stages to support a healthy spiritual wellbeing. Classes provide participants valuable tools to overcome challenges and accomplish triumphs sober. Classes are custom-designed to meet needs of program or participants. Facilitator Ramona Ahto, BAS/CDP – Yakama Nation / Shaker. All classes are 3 hours in length. The Grief and Loss Class is offered with a sweat following the class and also in a training component for DV Shelter Staff.
T a l k i n g C i r c l e s
Talking Circles build trust and contribute to the spiritual and emotional wellbeing. They are the central link to other cultural activities. Circles are run by an Elder and Staff with offers of guidance and support. Sacred medicines are provided for smudging with an eagle feather as a Talking Stick for everyone to share.
Stages of Recovery / Native 12 Steps / Relapse Prevention
Alcohol takes away from mental, spiritual, physical and emotional wellbeing. In order to reestablish balance in our lives, no better statement of our need is the Serenity Prayer. Participants review the meaning behind the serenity prayer. Native AA is talking about stories. Participants speak on recovery and what experience they have.
Other Native Chemical Dependency Classes offered include Native 12 Steps and Relapse Prevention. All classes are culturally interactive activities for all to contribute through art or expression.
Healthy Relationships Start with Me
Elder teachings on healthy relationships begin from within. External relationships impact the relationship with our inner-self from childhood. Self-actualization exercises identifies self in the center, outer circles represent family, community, Tribe, and Globe. All the circles around us contribute to our development. What is out of balance? How can I honor my sacred circle?
There was a time in our history where we knew our roles in the family and community as Native people when roles were defined and we were able to follow that path. Elder provides teachings on roles within a chemical dependent family with the goal to guide participants beyond the dysfunction.
Grief and Loss
We suffer various types of loss in our lives. As Native Americans, we are born into grief and loss due to historical trauma. Participants learn and share various types of grief and loss. History of drug and alcohol use in the native community is provided. Participants learn the grief cycle and how it impacts their being emotionally, spiritually, physically