White Bison’s Teachings: Sparrow and Carlos

New Directions for Women was honored to host the Executive Director of White Bison, Carlos Rivera, and Sparrow Goudey, who has been working with the women at NDFW for many years, in June 2017 for our third Wellbriety training. Wellbriety means to be both sober and well. It is not just about achieving abstinence from substances, but going beyond, by entering a lifelong journey of mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. Wellbriety includes a look at the social, political, and economic roots of addiction in addition to looking at addiction as an individual disease. We are blessed to use this work in the generational healing of our women, and their families.

Carlos Rivera: My name is Carlos Rivera, I am the Executive Director at White Bison located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I am an enrolled member with the Pomo Tribe located in Southern California. I’m also a person in long-term recovery which means I haven’t used alcohol or drugs for almost 13 years. And as a result of my long-term recovery I get to work for an organization like White Bison that travel not just in the United States but also on the islands such as Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia. And providing Native American spirituality and teaching to help influence change in other countries, not just here in the United States. I think it’s a gift from creator, from creator God for the world, not just for Native American people, but for everyone that wants to follow that or is curious about it. They can use it to help change their lives.

I love what I do. White Bison is a way of life. It’s not just a job. If wasn’t for White Bison teachings and the elder’s teachings I probably would not be here. I was lost in my addictions, thank you.

Sparrow Goudey: My name is Sparrow Goudey I’m Tsalagi/Cherokee/Wyandot. And I am a Native woman in long-term recovery as well. About 26 and a half years of continued sobriety. One day at a time. And I am a trainer for White Bison. I am so honored to be able to be a trainer for White Bison because – like Carlos said it’s not just a job, it’s taking this beautiful curriculum into Indian country and beyond because this isn’t just a Native thing, it’s a people thing. You know, we incorporate spirituality to teachings of the elders and universal laws into the curriculums. This is about being not just sober but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually well. I am very honored where creator has allowed me to have this be part of my life. I was about 10 years into my recovery when I was gifted a book called “The Red Road to Wellbriety in the Native American Way” my introduction to wellbriety and White Bison. And it has just become part of every cell of my being and I’m so grateful and honored, thank you.

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