The Fifth Osage Nation Congress unanimously passed a resolution supporting the re-establishment of a Native American sweat lodge for the Primary Residential Treatment (PRT) Center clients suffering from substance abuse.
On March 30, the resolution (ONCR 16-43 sponsored by Congressional Speaker Angela Pratt) became the first approved legislative document of the 2017 Hun-Kah Session, which lasts through April 24. The resolution is “to support the establishment and use of culturally relevant Native American customs to include a sweat lodge to be placed into the treatment plan for the benefit of patients served by (the PRT) Center within 45 days.”
The resolution comes over two years after the PRT’s sweat lodge ceased when the old PRT house on the government campus in Pawhuska was razed. A sweat lodge was built in the yard for clients, but the house was demolished to make way for the two campus master plan buildings now standing which are the Welcome Center and the Law Building. After the demolition, clients were left to find other locations for sweat lodge ceremonies.
Pratt attended several Health Authority Board meetings and on a few occasions asked health officials for updates on the sweat lodge issue. The most recent update came during the March meeting when officials, including Health and Wellness Division Leader Manon Tillman, said plans are being made to bring back the sweat lodge with a new Pawhuska PRT building in the works.
“I have heard from many clients and those in recovery regarding the sweat lodge being a vital aspect of Native recovery from many who’ve gone to the PRT program even years ago,” Pratt said. “I think this has gone on too long (absence of a sweat lodge) … Keep in mind the clients in recovery; and I believe this is an effort to do so. I sincerely hope that the Executive Branch will follow up on this.”
The PRT Center provides in-patient drug and alcohol treatment to Osage and other Native American men and women suffering from substance abuse. Both genders are housed at different locations with the men’s facility in Barnsdall, but efforts are being made for a new Pawhuska location.
For more information on treatment and therapy services from the Nation’s PRT Center, call (918) 287-5413 or go online to: www.osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/prt-department