The Osage Nation Prevention Program Sponsors Community Workshop Taught by Darryl Tonemah

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Understanding and Addressing Trauma in Our Communities

Pawhuska, Ok. – September 26-27, 2019, the Osage Nation (ON) Prevention Program and the Wah-Zha-Zhe Youth Council co-hosted a community workshop for adults working with Native American youth and families. Darryl Tonemah, who holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, gave the presentation. The workshop lasted two days from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Osage County Fairgrounds Agricultural building in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. The ON Prevention Program provided lunch to attendees for both days. The Casey Family Programs sponsored the event.

Tonemah also holds three bachelor degrees in Psychology, Sociology, and Gerontology. Today, he spends much of his time traveling to indigenous communities around the world, teaching behavioral methods of change, and health and wellness. He also sits on many state and national boards that address inequalities in education and health care in the Native Communities.

The ON Prevention Program invited tribal employees, local school districts, and organizations that work with Native youth and families on a day-to-day basis. The ON Prevention Director, Anthony Shackleford, has attended previous presentations by Dr. Tonemah over the past years. He believes the Not Just Dealing but Healing training would “increase awareness of the effects that trauma has on individuals, families, and communities by not only enhancing practical approaches to trauma-informed care but understanding how it all works.” He also believes it will provide a rare opportunity to gain a valuable resource to the ON Educators at (Immersion/WELA) schools and Osage youth and family-serving agencies. Shackleford added the following statement, “Dr. Tonemah’s well-received research-based, and successfully applied/proven approaches were the determining factors in bringing him to the Osage to help our people. For generations, our Osage people have suffered needlessly from trauma, whether gone unrecognized, untreated or even misunderstood. All are symptomatic of a lack of resources due to poverty, poorly insured, non- insured, increased populations, and most significant, diminished funding from federal, state, and local levels — all which lead to spiking numbers of those needing services and not receiving them. Through increased awareness, workshops as the Dealing to Healing, our people can have a greater understanding of trauma and the knowledge of what steps to take to get loved ones the help they not only need but deserve. With the world moving at the speed of light, we at Prevention feel any assistance we can offer to our Osage youth and their families, is our main goal as a program.”

Several ON employees attended one or both days of the presentation, including therapists, childcare workers, teachers, and teacher assistants. They showed up to learn more about the people they are investing in through professional care. The following is a list of the organizations represented and in attendance: Osage Nation Prevention Program,Wah-Zha-Zhe Youth Council, Daposka Ahnkodapi Elementary, Daposka Ahnkodapi Nest – Fairfax, Daposka Ahnkodapi Nest – Hominy, Daposka Ahnkodapi Nest – Pawhuska, Daposka Ahnkodapi Nest – Skiatook, Daposka Ahnkodapi Parent Group, Osage Nation Child Care, Osage Nation Child Support, Osage Nation Counseling Center, Osage Nation Education, Osage Nation PRT, Osage Nation Social Services, Osage Nation Tribal Works,Osage Nation TASC, WahZhaZhe Cultural Center, Pawhuska Indian Village, Haus of Clarity – Wichita, KS, Woodland Public Schools, Wynona Public Schools, Wynona Public Schools Board of Education, Pawhuska Public Schools Title VI, Hominy Public SchoolsCommunity Member, and the Association of American Indian Physicians.

The ON Prevention Program Project Coordinator Daisy Spicer was very invested in the opportunity to offer this training to the Osage Nation employees and community members. Spicer expressed her motivation saying, “I attended a workshop presented by Dr. Tonemah a few years ago. His knowledge and research on how trauma affects the human brain was the most fascinating teaching I’ve ever heard. I am so excited we (Prevention) were able to bring him to share his expertise with this community. Watching all of the ‘ah-ha’ moments happen as people listened to him was great!”

For more information about the Osage Nation Prevention Program, please visit:

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