Four Directions Treatment Center staff with Fort Hall Business Council.
By ROSELYNN WAHTOMY
FORT HALL – Four Directions staff met with the Fort Hall Business Council on January 9 to present the community with a Traveling War Staff, which signifies the combat against alcohol and drug abuse.
Donna Honena, Four Directions Manager, explained the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of Montana created the staff after the recent surge of methamphetamine abuse in their community. The staff has traveled to all the Montana and Wyoming tribes with each tribe organizing a symposium, to empower their communities and stand up and fight against drugs and alcohol.
On December 29, Four Directions staff Rainelle Edmo, Ranelda Stone and local youth Nicole Hevewah and Shayla Tendoy-Bache of Fort Hall were recognized at the Youth Meth Conference in Lander, Wyo. by the Eastern Shoshone and Arapahoe Tribes of the Wind River Reservation, they were presented with the war staff and to carry it to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation for community healing.
Edmo expressed it was a humbling experience to be at the Wyoming Tribes Youth Meth Conference and to see how the community responded to it. She said she along with the other girls she traveled with got a lot out of it.
“”I know our community needs healing,” she said. “Addiction is a community problem.”
Donna Honena explains the significance of the Traveling War Staff to FHBC
members on January 9.
Tendoy-Bache said it was an honor for the Tribes to get the staff because it went to a lot of reservations and touched a lot of peoples hearts.
Hevewah said going to the conference helped her realize she wanted become more outgoing and get more involved with the community.
“I learned how to be more of a leader than a follower,” she said and the staff is needed in this community because there are a lot of drugs and alcohol problems on the reservation.
Ranelda Stone talked about her struggle to become a recovering addict. She said it’s a rare thing to get healing, but it’s very possible. She said she wanted healing for the community and was once a part of the problem, but is now a part of the solution.
Honena said, “We are really honored to have this here.”
She said we always say the youth are our future and she sees many of them suffering and dealing with issues. She said the staff incorporates a cultural perspective into community healing.
The Four Directions Treatment Center, Tribal Youth Education Program and UNITY are currently in the planning stages of hosting a Youth and Community Methamphetamine Summit on March 21-23 in Fort Hall. Afterwards the war staff will be returned to the Fort Peck Reservation, after an eagle feather from the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes is added to it.
The War Staff will be available for Tribal community healing and gatherings, for more information contact Rainelle Edmo 478-4038, Lemuel Stone 236-1011, Donna Honena 236-1009.
The Four Directions staff stressed they would like to be a part of the initiative, which is why they came to present the staff to them.
Fort Hall Business Council Vice Chairman Darrell Shay prayed for the staff. Other council members expressed they were appreciative to have the staff in Fort Hall and they appreciate what departments are doing for the community.