“It hurts my heart to witness the passing of community members, and even more so, when it is an actual client of ours,” said Kellie Webb, Director of Eastern Shoshone Recovery.
The Eastern Shoshone Recovery Program has a new building at a new address in Fort Washakie, #7 Shipton Lane, adjacent to the Eastern Shoshone Boys & Girls Club, and the Wind River Dialysis Center. The program provides substance abuse outpatient treatment, assessment evaluations, recovery support, and sweats for both adults and youth.
“My entire staff gets impacted by the deaths of clients and then, you see a resilience, and then, we work even harder because addiction is a complex disease," Kellie said. "Those who have been to treatment, use their learned skills to remain clean and sober. Two biggest enemies of sobriety are resentment and anger, and if we don’t let go of them, it fosters use.”
“Trauma in our community brings a lot of social ills and we must resolve that trauma to begin the healing," Kellie continued. "If we can’t let go of that kind of stuff it gives this disease life, and when we drink, that life thrives on trauma, resentment, and anger.”
The recovery program is a state certified, Indian Health Contract 638 program.
Kellie tells us about her drive. What keeps her coming back?
“Individual’s attempts at sobriety enhance my drive,” Kellie said. “It is awesome when others want to give back. I like to see when people get sober and do amazing things with their lives.”
“The whole concept of the Medicine Wheel perspective that our program uses,” she added, “is to have clients take rightful places in the community because giving back brings 10 fold the good medicine when one is sober. ... We designed the 'Teepee Intervention' for youth to learn to sing songs and sweat based on the Native Culture, providing peer mentorship with people who sweat frequently.”
“The idea is to have kids become well established in practice so that their choice in the way of life is clean and sober," she said. "These peer support people will show the youth that the red road is a good road.”
An employee for the Eastern Shoshone Tribe for 18 years, Kellie started as an adolescent councilor when the programs were Joint, meaning belonging to both tribes. Split in 1999, the tribes now have separate substance abuse centers.
The Eastern Shoshone Recovery program hosts Clinical Groups, Peer Groups, and Social Groups between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, later by appointment if necessary.
“My hope for the community,” Kellie concluded, “is for happy families, happy children, economic growth, with each being clean and sober. Our mission and our vision is to make our children and grandchildren’s children happy by doing the work today, as our vision statement says: 'may the prayers of our ancestors be heard, in the heart of our grandchildren’s grandchildren.' It is time to heal the pains of the past.”