We've been empowering American Indian families since 1963.

 

We help American Indians heal from substance abuse by breaking the inherited cycles of psychological, social, and economic dislocation. Learn more about the issues we face ⟶

 
275A1045-2.jpg
 

OUR MISSION

We use American Indian culture to heal addiction and strengthen community.

We are the oldest social service organization in the United States run by and for American Indians. Over the last 50 years, we have helped more than 4,800 residential clients overcome substance abuse, empowered hundreds of youth, and provided community events for countless individuals and families. Incorporated in 1963 as a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt agency, we serve American Indians throughout the United States.

 
 

meet our graduates

At the Friendship House, we’re all one nation over there—‘cause it’s us against that disease.
— Adrian · 12 Years Sober
Screen Shot 2017-06-09 at 2.11.26 PM.png

Our Substance Abuse treatment Programs

87%

of clients felt an increase in social connection

Compared with 61% at intake, 87% of Friendship House graduates maintained an increase in social connection six months after graduation.

92%

of clients were clean and sober 6 months later

Compared with 41% at intake, 92% of Friendship House graduates did not use alcohol or illegal drugs in the past 30 days.

30%

of clients saw a reduction in depression

Compared with 48% at intake, 78% of Friendship House graduates felt relief from depression and anxiety.

HOW WE'RE DIFFERENT

When recovery and prevention are built upon American Indian knowledge systems that reinforce the cultural identity of our clients, recovery rates rise.

275A0654-2.jpg
 

Our program is guided by the same American Indian protocols, values, and ethics that we were once taught to be ashamed of.

In addition to clinically-oriented prevention and treatment services, we provide and sponsor ceremonial events that reinforce and restore cultural identity, dignity, and a deep sense of belonging and purpose. These gatherings promote traditional American Indian values, which are inclusive of love, tolerance, reciprocity, humility, and respect for all life.

 

OUR LEADERSHIP

Meet Helen, our CEO.

"I had just come from American Indian Boarding School where they told me I would not go further than doing house cleaning, cooking and other labor. But my father told me I could do anything and be anyone I choose—so I did, and this agency is the result."

— HELEN WAUKAZOO, CEO (NAVAJO)

 
 
helen-hair-fix-2.jpg
 

the issues we face

Our American Indian community experiences the highest rates of poverty in the United States.

According to the U.S. Census, over 1 in 4 American Indians are in poverty. This brings disproportionate incarceration rates, teen suicide, unemployment, high school dropout, diabetes, domestic violence, and substance abuse.

Many of the issues facing Indian communities have deep socio-political roots—roots that reflect a long history of systemic and structural racism and oppression, including the criminalization of Indian ceremonies and languages, the dissolution of the tribal family structure, forced relocation and mass incarceration.

For many of our clients, it is not necessarily one single issue that is being dealt with—i.e. substance abuse—but an entire bundle of overlapping and simultaneous issues.

 

Trusted in the community