Wabanaki Public Health & Wellness’ (WPHW) mission is to provide community-driven, culturally centered public health and social services to all Wabanaki communities and people while honoring Wabanaki cultural knowledge, cultivating innovation, and fostering collaboration. Our values include: inclusivity, balance, and cultural centeredness. Wabanaki traditions, language, and culture guide our approach and describe the ways we live in harmony with each other and the land we collectively share.
|Our Transitional Housing, also known as Opportunity House, is a recovery residence for Indigenous Men, the first of its kind in not only Maine, but all if New England. We believe that the opposite of addition is connection. That connection comes in many different ways; Connection to the land and nature, connection to ceremony and traditional Wabanaki Healing, connection to community and family, etc.. Our home gives our men a healing and supportive space to heal from the realities of historical and intergeneration trauma that is so deeply rooted in our communities.
Scott, his name has been changed for anonymity reasons, joined our program in July of 2021. Substance Use Disorder has been intertwined in his family history for generations. When he came to live at Opportunity House, he had lived the last 5 years in and out of treatment, drug courts, and other recovery programs. Admittedly he only gave them lip service, doing the motions and completing what they asked of him so that he could graduate and get on with his life as he wanted to.
In April of 2021, Scott was arrested for substance abuse related charges. In working with the court system, we were able to provide him with healing, supportive, and recovery ready space to start the recovery process that wasn’t in a jail cell. In the past 7 months that he has been living at Opportunity House, Scott has been building an honest program in recovery, developing a solid foundation of working with a sponsor through a 12-step program, and most importantly, reconnection with the traditional Wabanaki culture and Healing. This reconnection has been done in so many ways from learning traditional foods, to drumming and singing our songs, to speaking our languages around the table while the men in the house share a meal they prepared together. In addition to his building blocks in recovery, he has successfully completed his first semester at university, making Dean’s List with a 3.98 GPA and has completed all the requirements set to him by the court system. Watching him grow and build a life within recovery and our Wabanaki culture has been a healing process for all at Opportunity House, staff and residents alike.