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Don Coyhis

White Bison, Inc

Chairman of the Board





The Healing Forest & Changing Consciousness

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Mr. Coyhis will introduce the concept of Wellbriety as balance and connection to the Natural Laws that create healing within the Native community. Culturally based tools are discussed as a way for changing families. A combination of immense losses and traumatic events that have perpetrated an entire culture need healing as natives across the nation are encouraged to seek to reinstate cultural ways, language and sacred traditions.

Because of the legacy of the historical trauma, ongoing issues of substance use, and need for healing within families and the community, there is a focus on fear, shame, guilt and anger. People are living in the fog of these elements and do not realize they are existing this way. Our ways of thinking and way of being is built around the reactions to the environment created by these negative spiritual characteristics. These reactions include a sense of hopelessness and listlessness about taking action to change things.

There is this saying “When solving problems, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves.” We must look at a new way of thinking and responding is based upon a Spirit of Hope. We must seek intuitive input to our current approaches to reduction of addictions. The opposite of addiction is connection. Recovery is a connection process now using quantum approaches that did not exist before. Healing will take place through application of cultural and spiritual knowledge.

*Objective 1: Participants will discover how the past connects to the present in order to understand the significance of connecting to the culture to bring healing to our communities.

*Objective 2: Participants will learn how to change community consciousness about recovery.

*Objective 3: Participants will explore solutions beyond evidence-based approaches.


Don Coyhis, Mohican Nation, is the Chairman of the Board and Founder of White Bison, Inc., an American Indian non-profit organization, located in Colorado Springs, CO. Don originally set out to raise awareness and treat alcoholism among Indian youth on the reservations. After studying the underlying causes of alcoholism, White Bison’s mission expanded to include drug addiction, dysfunctional families and relationships, and suicide prevention. From this, the Wellbriety Movement was born. The teachings of Wellbriety go beyond being sober to include thriving in the community and being balanced emotionally, mentally, physical and spiritually.

Over the past 30 years, Don has developed a series of culturally-based programs to address recovery and treatment, youth prevention and treatment, programs for healthy families, and healing from unresolved grief and traumatic loss due to intergenerational trauma. These programs are designed help with all facets of family healing and have been implemented throughout the U.S. and Canada.

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