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ON Congress passes resolution supporting re-establishment of PRT sweat lodge

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


By

Benny Polacca


Original Publish Date: 2017-04-03 00:00:00

Author

  • Benny Polacca

    Title: Senior Reporter

    Email: bpolacca@osagenation-nsn.gov

    Instagram: @bpolacca

    Topic Expertise: Government, Tribal Government, Community

    Languages spoken: English, basic knowledge of Spanish and French

    Benny Polacca (Hopi/ Havasupai/ Pima/ Tohono O’odham) started working at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter in Pawhuska, Okla., where he’s covered various stories and events that impact the Osage Nation and Osage people. Those newspaper contributions cover a broad spectrum of topics and issues from tribal government matters to features. As a result, Polacca has gained an immeasurable amount of experience in covering Native American affairs, government issues and features so the Osage readership can be better informed about the tribal current affairs the newspaper covers.

    Polacca is part of the Osage News team that was awarded the Native American Journalists Association's Elias Boudinet Free Press Award in 2014 and has won numerous NAJA media awards, as well as awards from the Oklahoma Press Association and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter, for storytelling coverage and photography.

    Polacca earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and also participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota where he was introduced to the basics of journalism and worked with seasoned journalists there and later at The Forum daily newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. area where he worked as the weeknight reporter.

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Benny Polacca
Benny Polaccahttps://osagenews.org

Title: Senior Reporter

Email: bpolacca@osagenation-nsn.gov

Instagram: @bpolacca

Topic Expertise: Government, Tribal Government, Community

Languages spoken: English, basic knowledge of Spanish and French

Benny Polacca (Hopi/ Havasupai/ Pima/ Tohono O’odham) started working at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter in Pawhuska, Okla., where he’s covered various stories and events that impact the Osage Nation and Osage people. Those newspaper contributions cover a broad spectrum of topics and issues from tribal government matters to features. As a result, Polacca has gained an immeasurable amount of experience in covering Native American affairs, government issues and features so the Osage readership can be better informed about the tribal current affairs the newspaper covers.

Polacca is part of the Osage News team that was awarded the Native American Journalists Association's Elias Boudinet Free Press Award in 2014 and has won numerous NAJA media awards, as well as awards from the Oklahoma Press Association and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter, for storytelling coverage and photography.

Polacca earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and also participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota where he was introduced to the basics of journalism and worked with seasoned journalists there and later at The Forum daily newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. area where he worked as the weeknight reporter.

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