Wellbriety Tree 2020 at Aurora

Wellbriety Tree

Some of you may have been present at the Winnipeg City Hall rotunda during the last few years for the Wellbriety Tree of Life Ceremony. Or you may have been here in treatment in Gimli and had an opportunity to create a buffalo ornament and place it on the tree.

COVID-19 has forced us to postpone this year’s event with Mayor Bowman, however, we are going to maintain the tradition at Aurora in Gimli.

When our members are present in common areas of the centre, and engaged in homework or reading, a few copies of the book Red Road to Wellbriety are usually present. This program has provided a path to lasting recovery to many members of our Aurora family. Several staffers use it as their primary 12-step guidebook.

What is this new term, “Wellbriety”?

Wellbriety means to be both sober and well. It is a translation into English of a word from the language of the Passamaquoddy nation of Maine given by an Elder in the mid-1990s (Simonelli, Summer 1995).

It means achieving sobriety and abstinence from substance abuse and misuse without stopping there. It means going beyond “clean and sober” by entering a journey of healing and balance – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

For many Native Americans, it also means recovering culturally.

According to Don Coyhis and Richard Simonelli of White Bison Inc., “Non-Native recovery approaches often look at addiction as an individual disease, ignoring the social, political, or economic roots of addiction.
The indigenous experience adds a dimension of acknowledging sociopolitical causes without removing an individual’s need to do the hard work it takes to heal. This is new, culturally specific thinking that can also add to the field of mainstream recovery knowledge.”

“Each year White Bison distributes free White Bison Ornaments to treatment centers, youth organizations, families and communities to raise sobriety consciousness. Individuals are asked to write their name on one side of the ornament and length of sobriety on the other side.

We highly encourage children to participate as well as a way of showing our youth that being sober is cool! We believe that displaying White Bison ornaments in our communities is a positive annual tradition to start measuring consciousness.”

Order your FREE set of ornaments at https://whitebison.org