The Healing Lodge helps Native youth address intergenerational trauma and develop cultural resilience and personal identity.

The Healing Lodge’s Cultural Traditions

The Healing Lodge’s approach to wellness and recovery is grounded in evidence-based treatment models alongside traditional, cultural, and spiritual values. These practices foster respect, honesty, generosity, and strong cultural identification. We hope for positive life changes—for Native and non-Native youth.

A Native American Focus

Most residents are Native American, and many come to us for inpatient treatment outside this region, representing tribal identities beyond the founding Seven Nations of the Healing Lodge.

We celebrate the many differences among the hundreds of Native American Tribes in our land. Still, we also recognize the common threads of identity, history, and experience that connect our stories, regardless of one’s tribe or region.

Because we specialize in treatment and recovery for Native youth, we understand the complicated role that generational/intergenerational trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can play in fostering addiction and mental health illness.

Exploring Self-Identity

The Healing Lodge welcomes adolescents of all cultural heritage to come here and seek healing.

In their time at the Healing Lodge, each resident can explore their cultural background, engage with their individual stories, and seek meaning as part of their recovery journey.

The values of respect, honesty, generosity, strong cultural identification, and hope for positive life changes are relevant for anyone on a path to greater health and self-understanding. We teach, model, and encourage respect for all cultures and practices.

Residents can find healing and resilience in Culture programming through Native American traditions.


Culture is at the center of life at The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations; youth participate in culture programming weekly that follows the teachings of the Medicine Wheel in a 12-week program. The Culture program focuses on the common cultural elements among the Seven Nations tribes. Residents learn about through practicing, Native traditions in the Northwest. These traditions reflect some of the beliefs and practices shared or similar among tribes in our region.

Seven Nations’ Traditions and Values

Exposure to the oral traditions of storytelling helps youth apply the lessons to everyday life, including morals, values, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-awareness, and appropriate ways of conducting themselves in family and community environments. Youth will complete at least six hands-on projects, including beading, drum making, and hide painting. In addition to the hands-on projects, residents can learn traditional games, drumming, and songs. Formal introductions help youth reconnect with their cultural roots to aid in their healing and sobriety.

A unique opportunity for youth is the Sweat Lodge. Residents can attend weekly. The purpose of the Sweat Lodge is to serve as purification and rebalance of the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual/social aspects of self. During the Sweat, youth use the healing power of prayer to transform the old into a new self, detoxify impurities, help one’s self with forgiveness, find answers, and pray for their family and loved ones. River and mountain ceremonies offer additional opportunities for youth to heal.

The Culture Program also offers Rites of Passage (ROP) Ceremonies to youth who are interested and qualified to participate. Many residents who come to the Healing Lodge have not experienced belonging to a community or acknowledging their status as young adults. The ROP ceremony marks this particular time in their lives. It allows them to challenge their strength and courage.

The Transition Ceremony is another celebration where youth and staff gather to honor a resident who has completed their treatment program. Participants learn how to support another person’s success, end a relationship healthily, and celebrate a milestone in a positive, sober manner. The youth who is successfully transitioning is honored by their peers and staff in a supportive and caring environment, helping them acknowledge the sober person they have become.

Residents have opportunities to participate in local cultural activities. Depending on the time of year, residents participate in medicine gatherings as part of cultural off-units. Medicines gathered can include huckleberries, Camas Root, and River Sage, among others. Residents also participate in cultural activities hosted by our Seven Nation tribes.