By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
The message “Together we can get through it” is emblazoned on flyers advertising an upcoming event that is aimed at helping community health through recovery. In celebration of National Recovery Month, Cherokee Indian Hospital’s Analenisgi Recovery Center is hosting the Cherokee Rally for Recovery on Tuesday, Sept. 13 from 3-7pm at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds.
The free event is open to everyone and will include free food, guest speakers, recovery information from various local organizations, music, raffles, giveaways, bouncy houses, and more.
“We wanted to create another opportunity to talk about recovery and also really provide an opportunity for all the different organizations that are already doing fabulous work to come together in one place and make sure the community knows about them,” said Lara Conner, Analenisgi Recovery Center lead. “It’s also going to be a venue where folks that are in recovery will be talking about their recoveries instead of it always being kind of hush-hush.”
She said recovery information will be provided for those seeking help from alcohol and drug addictions as well as emotional struggles. “We’re going to talk about how we got well and what we’re doing to stay that way and in all the different ways – the different pathways that you can come into recovery…our dream is to organize this every year.”
Conner said speaking about these issues openly is important. “There’s a saying in the 12 steps, ‘you’re as sick as your secrets’…I feel like the less we talk about it, it just sort of percolates there instead, and literally people just don’t know about the resources available.”
Kristi Case, MPA, Analenisgi Recovery Services manager, added, “We want to break down the stigma involved. We want to bring recovery to the forefront showing people that you can be successful community members who have jobs and lives and families. Out in the community, one of the speakers is a member of Council who’s telling his story of recovery and giving people hope that anyone can get into recovery and turn their lives around.”
Conner said another important message they wish to convey is that recovery can happen. “If it’s all behind-the-scenes, then all that people hear is the really horrible stuff, when people are really struggling and suffering. They hear about all of those stories, but they don’t hear about these success stories.”
The event is being made possible due to a grant from Recovery Communities of NC along with local funding. Harrah’s Cherokee donated money for the free meal which will be provided. Locally, many organizations are participating in or have shown their support for the event including: EBCI Public Health and Human Services, Cherokee Indian Hospital, Full Circle Recovery Franklin, Appalachian Community Services, WNCAP, AA, NA, Indians in Sobriety, Nar-Anon, Life Recovery, Cherokee Civil Action Team, Acupunture, Cherokee Fitness Center, Cherokee Healing and Wellness Coalition, EBCI Family Safety, Cherokee Child & Family Services, Harrah’s Cherokee, EBCI TERO Program, EBCI Tribal Education & Training, EBCI Tribal HR, Hardee’s of Cherokee, and Southwestern Community College.
“We’ve been planning it for a few months now,” said Case, “and, we’ve had a lot of participation from community members and other folks…we have support from Tribal Council and Chief Patrick Lambert to come and speak at our event in support of recovery.”
Case went on to say, “It affects everybody. We’re trying to make it about a healthy community, a healthy Cherokee. And, how do we do that? We come together. We support each other, and we also show folks what resources we have available because there are so many wonderful resources here.”