During this year’s 2019 Partnership Conference in Spokane, Washington, I had the pleasure of accompanying IHS Principal Deputy Director Rear Adm. Michael D. Weahkee and other IHS leaders for a site visit to the NATIVE Project .
The NATIVE Project is an urban Indian organization that provides the Spokane community with a variety of services, including medical, dental, pharmacy, behavioral health, and licensed substance abuse and mental health treatment. The program, which recently celebrated its 30-year anniversary, delivers services to people of all ethnicities and backgrounds, as well as financial status. During our visit, Toni Lodge, CEO of the Native Project said "We’re truly a community-based organization. We started with only $100 and a donated Ford Pinto that was auctioned off for seed money, and last year our budget was $10 million.”
We also had the opportunity to tour and meet the team at the Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations , an IHS Youth Regional Treatment Center that offers chemical dependency treatment to adolescents within the state of Washington. The IHS provides recurring funding to 12 Youth Regional Treatment Centers across the country to address the ongoing issues of substance abuse and co-occurring disorders among American Indian and Alaska Native youth. The goal is for youth to overcome their challenges and recover their lives to become healthy, strong, and resilient leaders in their communities.
The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations facility is located on 51 acres of timbered land in Spokane Valley, Washington and has a 45-bed capacity for adolescent inpatient treatment, serving both males and females. After touring the facility, Rear Adm. Weahkee met with staff and received an update from members of the Healing Lodge Board of Directors.
The NATIVE Project and Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations continue to be valuable resources for the greater Spokane and the entire Washington state area. These site visits were a great opportunity to see, first hand, some of the positive work they are doing in the community.
Principal Deputy Director Rear Adm. Weahkee and IHS representatives toured the NATIVE Project in Spokane, Wash. on June 11, 2019.
Principal Deputy Director Rear Adm. Weahkee and IHS representatives were greeted by a welcome song from the Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations youth drum group before touring the facility in Spokane Valley, Wash. on June 11, 2019.
The group was gifted hand drums made by youth from the Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations, after touring the facility on June 11, 2019.