Theme of 7th Annual Drug and Gang Summit Held at Red Lake
The seventh annual Red Lake Drug and Gang Summit was held Tuesday - Thursday, February 12 – 14, 2013 at Red Lake Seven Clans Casino Event Center. The theme for the 2013 Summit was “Helping the Family and Community."
An estimated 200-250 people involved in law enforcement, and drug and alcohol services attended workshops and presentations from 9 AM to 4:30 PM on the first two days with a wrap-up at noon on Day Three. Participants came not only from Red Lake, Leech Lake, and White Earth, but from Bemidji and other communities as well.
Daytime activities included workshops and presentations on drugs, living a positive lifestyle, education, gangs, and traditional teachings. Meanwhile booths representing programs from Chemical Health and other related services dotted the perimeter of the hotel lobby.
Opening ceremonies included a prayer by Spiritual Elder Larry Stillday, and a drum song by Young Kingbird, after which Emcee Murphy Thomas began the session with introductions.
Day One Tuesday, February 12
Beginning at 10 a.m., the first of several key-note addresses was presented. One of the first was James Cross who offered a general presentation on "Gangs" from a personal perspective.
Concurrent workshops took up the afternoon. In the first session, participants learned details on heroin addiction with Rick Muldenhauer who presented "Smack is Back". The second session was a visit with Mark Kingbird, a Prevention Specialist and Foster Care Parent who conducted a workshop on "Addicted Babies."
In the third workshop, Larry and Violet Stillday of the Ponemah Out-patient Program, presented "The Cycle of Life," and "Balancing the Four elements of life." They had a wonderful powerpoint presentation that included animation. Much of Stillday's program centered on the Medicine Wheel.
"Imagine a person who thinks they know it all.” “Not so,” says Stillday, “they look at the world only from their place on the wheel. In order to know and understand, one must go around the wheel, continually looking at the center, and notice how things look differently depending upon ones place on the wheel. We must walk the wheel to see how others see."
"There are four parts to us, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual," said Stillday. "These must be in balance as well. We must have harmony in all four. If we do not, we are not well."
In the second set of concurrent sessions of the day, Dr. Daniel Cabbitt conducted a workshop entitled "Addiction on the Brain." And in another room, Chris Rogers, spoke about "Why Belonging to Healthy Families Trump the Gang Lifestyle Completely".
Dr. Cecil White Hat, (Lakota Sioux) a frequent participant at past summits, was to lead a workshop on "Why Indians Drink the Way They Do." But White Hat was called away unexpectedly and his time was generously filled by Larry and Violet Stillday who repeated their earlier session on “The Cycle of Life, and Balancing the Four Elements of Life."
Round Dance Social
A Round Dance Social, featuring hand drumming and singing took place on Tuesday Evening from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. It was well attended by more than 100 people Several drummers and singers made a circle around several tables in the center of the event center, taking turns with songs, while many watched, listened or danced.
The amusing Murphy Thomas emceed the Round Dance displaying his usual flair for color, humor and history on the activities of music and dancing. There were contests for best song and dancing. Four participated in the youth category for a song contest, and there were eight couples who participated in the two-step contest.
Day Two, Wednesday, February 13
About 9:30 a.m. after an opening prayer and drum song, a welcome and opening address was given by Red Lake Chairman Floyd Jourdain, Jr. Jourdain delayed the welcome from Tuesday due to a Tribal Council meeting.
The morning Key-note speeches were by Summit frequent participants Rick Moldenhauer and Rosemary White Shield. They have shared their expertise and communication skills at Red Lake for years attending nearly all of the seven Drug and Gang Summits.
“SMACK IS BACK” by Rick Moldenhauer,
A key-note speech by Rick Moldenhauer entitled "Smack is Back," was up next. Moldenhauer is a Planner Principle State/State Opioid Treatment Authority at the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division, DHS. Moldenhauer has 25+ years of direct care experience in a wealth of settings involving chemical dependency treatment. He is on a variety of State and Federal initiatives involving best practices and committees for various purposes. He is an author, frequent speaker and technical assistant in quality delivery of chemical dependency services.
From a PowerPoint presentation, Moldenhauer pointed out the definition of heroin and other opiates which are any of the psychoactive drugs that originate from the opium poppy, or have a similar chemical structure. They include; heroine, morphine, oxycontin, vicoden, percodan, etc.
Next he explained why the drug is so hard to kick by pointing out the symptoms of withdrawal from the drug. They include; excessive pain, anguish, agitation, upset stomach, muscle aches, eye watering, perfuse perspiration, insomnia, and even erection of the hair or hair standing on end. Moldenhauer concluded his presentation with something to think about, a final slide that said, “Tradition is prevention, culture is treatment”.
"Native Women's Healing Prospectives" by Dr.Rosemary White Sheild Ph.D
Moldenhauer was followed by Dr. Rosemary White Shield, PhD (Anishinaabe). She presented a discourse on "Native Women's Healing Prospectives."
White Shield has a stellar resume. She is the Director of Evaluation for the Office of Equity and Diversity at the University of Minnesota. She is the former director of Nokomis Endaad Shki Bimaadzi Mikaana (Grandmother’s House-Road to New Life) Mental Illness/Chemical Dependency (MI/CD) Outpatient Treatment Program in Minneapolis. She is also President-elect of the Minnesota Evaluation Association.
Dr. White Shield has a private consultant practice, and serves American Indian urban and reservation communities across the United States in national, regional and local projects. Her expertise is culturally intrinsic and responsive research, program design, evaluation, and curriculum development. Her most recent books, Gifts from the Sacred Circle, were released in March, 2012.
“We need to provide culturally intrinsic healing for American Indian women who are challenged by addiction, mental health, sexual trauma, and cultural disorders,” says White Shield.
And she provides some stark statistics. Indian women face the highest rate of sexual violence of any group in the U.S. One of three Native women will be raped in her lifetime, and three of four will be assaulted. She goes on to say that American Indian men and women suffer disproportionate rates of trauma and the experience of sexual trauma can have devastating mental health consequences. Research then, shows that these victims are more likely to use alcohol and other drugs to cope with this trauma.
But there is more. American Indians display the highest lifetime occurrence of major depressive disorders, and that alcohol and drug use are frequently observed in those suffering. Natives make up 1.2% of the population of Minnesota, yet make up 7.7% of all chemical dependency treatment admissions.
The answer according to White Shield is the decolonizing of Indigenous minds by re-centering Indigenous values and cultural practices within research practice, and an essential piece is an Indigenous peoples’ struggle for self-determination.
Afternoon Key-Note and Clan Groups
After lunch and before the breakout sessions, the crowd heard…and more importantly saw…a slide presentation of vivid and sobering photos. David Parnell repeated his session from the first day illustrating from a personal perspective, and in a very stark manner, a session on Methamphetamine Prevention called "Facing the Dragon."
The rest of the afternoon would be talking about solutions and strategies. The participants first broke into groups using the "Seven Clan system." In each registrants packet was a drawing of each of Red Lake's seven clan symbols. So if a person had a drawing of Makwa in his/her packet, he/she joined the Makwa table, Migizi the Migizi table, etc.
Participants of these small "clan" groups of six to ten or so were to tackle a question related to aspects discussed during the two-day Summit. Groups in the breakout were reminded to keep in mind the Summit's theme of family and community.
The question presented was: How can parents grandparents and other communty members develop a sense of ownership of community problems and become advocates for change at all levels of the social system? Participants were then asked to choose two of four questions to discuss: What are some of the ways families can identify their own problems? How can families create solutions with their own home and communities to begin to heal? How can families stay positive and hopeful in their community? How can families start to give back to their communities in positive ways.
Traditional teachings were considered quite important to achieve these goals.
Day 3 Thursday, February 14
After opening ceremonies that included a prayer, a drum song and an agenda cancellation, the Summit participated in something many were looking forward too, a Healing Ceremony with Royce Kingbird from the Red Lake Chemical Health Programs.
The successful Summit closed out with drawings for some first class prizes and a Traveling Song by the drum group.
Mission and Goal of the Drug/Gang Summit
The mission of the Red Lake Drug and Gang Summit is to educate and mobilize tribal agencies, professionals, schools and community members in a variety of efforts against drugs and crime in our communities. The goal of the summit is to gather and collect information on how to address issues of crime, drugs and violence while working closely with district representatives and the Red Lake Tribal Council.
The impetus for the event began at a special Tribal Council meeting in September 2006. At that time it was announced that the Tribal Chairman was calling for a summit on Methamphetamine/crack cocaine to be held. The Indian & Free Drug Program, Project Safe Neighborhoods and the Red Lake Nation Coalition (White Bison) now the Seven Clans Wellbriety Coalition was instructed to head the summit.
Chemical Health Programs, services available
• Red Lake Alcohol Rehabilitation Program provides prevention and treatment
• Red Lake Outpatient Programs, with Ponemah Satellite office
• Indian & Free Prevention/Treatment Program, for adolescents.
• Red Lake Group Home, co-ed adolescent in-patient care facility
• Northern Winds Treatment & New Roads Halfway House, in patient treatment for adults
• Red Lake Pregnant Women & Families Program, out patient treatment
For More Information Please Call: Tom Barrett at 679-3392, Salena Branchaud at 679-3995, Marilyn Mountain at 679-3321 or Kelly Brunelle at 679-3313