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October 28, 2011 - MusiCares and the Grammy Foundation notified a program resident that they placed 2nd in their annual contest - here are some links to interviews and articles about this astounding achievement by a very talented young man:

KHQ Channel 6 TV in Spokane, WA

KLEW Channel 3 TV in Lewiston, ID

Facebook Site for MusiCares and the Grammy Foundation listing all 3 winners

October 4, 2011 - State of Washington, Department of Behavioral Health and Recovery recognizes the Healing Lodge with their Innovative Program of the Year award at their annual statewide Behavioral Health conference in Yakima, WA.  Dr. Martina Whelshula, Executive Director and Deekon Jones, Expressive Arts Program Manager contributed to the conference with a presentation on the Music Program that has been receiving recognition as an innovative way to engage the youth more deeply in their treatment programs.

August 26, 2011 - John Culton, Eastern Washington Director for Senator Patty Murray's office toured the Healing Lodge and met with the Board of Directors.  Mr. Coulton thanked the Board, "Thank you for having me, I am pretty impressed."

August 20, 2011 - Several guests gathered with staff and residents at the Healing Lodge to rebuild the female Sweat Lodge.  Cultural Specialist Kelly Shirley lead the activities along with Executive Director Martina Whelshula.  The day included many songs and prayers as a larger Sweat Lodge was hand built to better serve the increased number of female residents attending the Healing Lodge.

June 29, 2011 - CD Release Party for The Dark Road


May 2011 - The Healing Lodge received outstanding recognition from the CARF survey and has earned another 3 year accreditation!

2011 iAward Honorable Mention:  National Recognition - The Healing Lodge's Music Program has won national recognition as an innovative program in behavioral health and treatment services!  The award will be presented at a national converence in Boston, Massachusetts.

March 30 - April 1, 2011 - The Healing Lodge will be visited by a surveyor from CARF International as part of the three year continuing accreditation process.  Used as the GPRA measure with Indian Health Services and recognized by the Washington State Department of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) as an important performance measure, the Healing Lodge welcomes the collaborative survey method used by CARF to not only assess services, but to provide a platform for improvement.

March 7, 2011 - Representatives from the Tulalip Tribe visited the Healing Lodge to tour the facility and to find out how they can integrate the services offered into their tribal treatment programs.

February 25, 2011 - Representatives from the Klamath Tribe visited the Healing Lodge to tour the facility and to find out more about how the treatment program is delivered.  The Klamath Tribe has a youth inpatient treatment program available in the southern Oregon area.

January 26, 2011 - Martina Whelshula, PhD, Executive Director of the Healing Lodge attended a retirement party in Lincoln City, Oregon for Portland Area Indian Health Services Director Doni Wilder.  Dr. Whelshula presented Ms. Wilder with a custom made placque honoring her years of service and decorated with a hand beaded medalian depicting the Health Lodge logo.

January 21, 2011 - Students from the Sinpaqcheen School attended both ladies and mens basketball games at Whitworth University as a guest of Dr. Warren Fredrichs, Athletic Director.  Both teams were victorious!  All the students enjoyed the outing and were treated to sodas, popcorn and certificates for a free sandwich at Arby's.  Several students were invited to participate in the free time activities including shooting 3-pointers for more Arby's sandwich certificates.  The Whitworth mascot, a Pirate, spent time entertaining the students.  Members of the Sinpaqcheen basketball team attended practice with the Whitworth Pirates the evening before and had a chance to meet and play with the team. 

January 13, 2011 - The Healing Lodge Music Program releases their debut album - "The Dark Road."  A compilation of music and poetry readings by program residents.  Music available on Itunes.

October 2010 - A Round Dance will be held at The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations on October 30,2010 in celebration of Autumn.  All are invited.  Call 509-533-6910 to find out more.

September 2010 - ATNI (Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians) had a tour and dinner at The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations on September 21, 2010 during their annual conference being held the same week at Northern Quest Casino in Airway Heights, Washington.

September 2010 - Martina Whelshula, PhD, Executive Director of The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations made a presentation to the Health Committee of ATNI on Monday, September 20, 2010.

July 2010 - The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations, along with the Washington State Department of Behavioral Health and Recovery announced the expansion of treatment services to include youth with Co-Occurring Disorders.  The treatment program has been divided into three smaller programs in order to provide more individualized and focused treatment for the youth being served.

January 2010 - Dr. Martina Whelshula worked with the Spokane Tribe to establish a monthly Yapqinm - a monthly interagency consortium of service providers within Spokane and on the reservation who are working with families and children in need.  Dr. Whelshula helped develop interagency memorandums of agreement, collaborate to provider services to the community, developed by-laws on how they will govern the committee and handle arrangements between them.  Community development work in human services.

October 2009 - A 4-day GONA (Gathering of Native Americans) was sponsored by the Healing Lodge at Gonzaga University to discuss prevention activities at the community level, bringing forward programs that are working and sharing them with other Native American communities.

Fast Facts - Summer 2009

The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations

The Healing Lodge provides treatment services to youth from the western United Sates and is the oldest and largest of two tribal youth treatment faciliteis in the Northwestern United States.

Healing Lodge Program Information

The waiting list for treatment in Washington State, under the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Support Act, has quadrupled since 1991 and its browth is accelerating.

On average, the Healing Lodge receives 5 phone calls a wekk inquiring about the availability of beds (wait time) who we do not hear from abain because they cannot wait. We lose an average of 2 youth on our waiting list each month to other facilities that have an opening.

The Heailng Lodge has admitted 180 youth into the treatment program since 1/1/2008. The Healing Lodge provides inpatient treatment for all adolescents from the 43 Tribes serviced the the Portland Area Indian Health Service (IHS). During that time period, the Healing Lodge provided inpatient treatment to 50 youth from 23 other American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/NA) tribes in the Western United States including Alaska.

80% of Healing Lodge residents returned to school after treatment, the highest rate among satellite schools in Washington State.

The Data Shows...

AI/AN youth between 12 to 17 years of age have the highest rate of illicit drug use than any other category of race in the United States, with drug use rates for this age category at least 23 percent compared to an average of 5.7 percent for other races.

American Indians have a suicide rate that is 70 percent higher than that of the general US population, while Native youth have the highest rate of suicide of any group in the nation.

The persistent underfunding coupled with the last several years of flat funding to the Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations has meant that services for youth treatment are not always available for youth who are in need of critical interventions that can make the difference between life and death.

Racial and ethnic minorities comprise 43% of youth admissions to DASA [2010 update - changed name to DBHR] funded chemical dependency treatment services.

After treatment, more adolescents reported income earned from employment, and fewer reported income from illegal behavior. School discipline problems decreased after treatment. A lower percentage of adolescent patients were under legal supervision 18 months after treatment.

There are significant declines in criminal convictions amoung youth ages 14 through 17 who receive chemical dependency treatment. Felong convictions declined by 56%

Incarcerated Juveniles

On both a national and state level we are facing a crisis situation regarding serious underfunding of treatment services for juveniles.

Several publications recently have expressed concern that incarcerated youth are perceived to be "warehoused" in correctional and detention facilities without attention to their mental health needs.

A recent report from a juvenile justice organization that received funding from the US Department of Justice indicated that:

  • 50% to 75% of incarcerated juveniles have a diagnosable mental health disorder
  • At least 50% have substance abuse problems
  • As many as 19% may be suicidal and at heightened risk for self-harm

The Healing Lodge continues to work on behalf of Native American and all youth and their families to be sure that there is relevant, successful treatment available for alcohol and chemical dependency.

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