The Wellness Movement
The Native Wellness Institute recognizes the great impacts of historical trauma and oppression on our people. We understand that historic trauma has caused current day trauma in our families and communities. This is evident by the high rates of substance abuse, violence, gossip, negativity, poverty and other destructive behaviors and conditions.
As Native people we have the strength and resiliency to move beyond and forward from the hurtful past and utilize what our ancestors left us- prayer, faith, songs, dances, ceremony, language and the perseverance to leave a positive legacy for our future generations.
The Native Wellness Institute exists to help create an awareness of where our negative behavior comes from, provide opportunities for growth and healing and most importantly to help our people move forward in a good way. We do this by providing training and technical assistance based in Native culture that promotes the well-being of individuals, families, communities and places of work.
NWI lives and promotes the “Warrior’s Spirit” which means paying the greatest respect to our ancestors by being as positive, productive and proactive as we can, everyday of our lives.
Native Wellness History
In the 1970’s, following the civil rights movement, many Native people realized the devastating effects of alcohol and new that if we were going to truly reach a place of self-determination we had to stop drinking. Community norms started changing and it wasn’t “OK” anymore to be intoxicated at tribal gatherings or meetings. Coupled with the sobriety movement, came a cultural revitalization in many tribal Nations throughout North America. The times were changing.
In the 1980s came the Native wellness movement. Our people gravitated toward this positive movement- this movement that talked about historical trauma, oppression and healing; this movement that encouraged people to be positive, to lift up one another and promoted compassion, respect and resiliency.
Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s many national and regional wellness gatherings occurred. As a result, many Native people were motivated to make positive changes in their lives, families, communities and places of work and needed the direction and road map of how to do that. The Native Wellness Institute was created to assist in providing that direction, care and support.