13th Annual Red Lake Wellness Summit Focuses On Recovery
The 13th annual Red Lake Wellness Summit is returning to tradition in a new venue. This year, the organizers of the summit wanted to really speak to attendees. That’s why this time, they put a focus on recovery and breaking the stigma.
“We usually do a summit of some sort on the addiction process and things like that, but this year we want to focus more on wellness, the recovery aspect of addiction. You know, once you’ve been to treatment, here’s the recovery that goes with it,” says Tom Barrett, the executive director of Red Lake Chemical Health.
The Wellness Summit is spread throughout three days. Each day features a variety of speakers and workshops that are meant to promote wellness throughout the body, mind and soul. All events also have cultural aspect to them. A few of today’s workshops were traditional teachings, recovering from grief and Pow Wow Zumba.
“We had some medicine plants and things like that. We have some of our programs, showcasing some of our new programs we have here in Red Lake, so there’s a wide variety of different programs going on within this conference,” says Barrett.
This year was the first time the Red Lake Wellness Summit was held at the Red Lake Tribal College, and it proved to be a success. More then 300 people have attended the first two days so far.
Chance Rush, the emcee for the wellness summit, says, “We have elders, we have infants here and it’s just a time of celebrating recovery. You know? We’re pushing that and we’re celebrating. We’re winning the war on health initiatives. We’re winning the war on substance abuse, and it’s good that we can celebrate that together.”
As the day goes on, attendees leave with a positive attitude, and that’s exactly what organizers want to achieve with the event.
“That’s what we want to put out there. There are a lot of good things happening also. Not just drug busts and overdoses and not just in Indian country but all over the state. You know, we just got to learn to look for the good things in our community,” says Barrett.
“This is truly what we mean when we say wellness gathering is take what you have and go forward with it, so we’re celebrating here!” adds Rush.
The wellness summit will continue tomorrow at the Red Lake Tribal College at 9 a.m. Anyone is welcome to attend.