Making indigenous drums

Indigenous Wellness Program

Our Indigenous Wellness program provides classes and resources for the community that promote whole-person wellness through food, culture, self-help, and traditional medicines.

Schedule

Unless noted below, we hold our programs at our HQ: 816 Central Avenue N, Kent, WA 98032

  • Art Expressions
    • Female veterans cohort – once a month on a Saturday, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
    • Native women cohort – once a month on a Friday, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Community Night: 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Drumming and Singing: 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of every month, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Elders Luncheons: 4th Sunday of every month, 11:30 am – 2:00 pm
  • Farmers Market Field Trips: Spring-Fall, location varies
  • TEW Cohorts and Classes: Offered throughout the year
  • Talking Circles: 3rd Saturday each month, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm; held at 101 W Meeker St Kent, WA
  • Women’s Wellness Gatherings: 3rd Thursday of every month, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Wellbriety Wednesday: 2nd and 4th Wednesdays 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm; held at 101 W Meeker St Kent, WA

Community and Women’s Wellness

We offer cultural teachings, traditions, and community building, sharing knowledge and generational teachings among Indigenous peoples. We celebrate beauty in diversity, preserve traditions, and build connections.

We offer classes and activities such as:

  • weaving cedar
  • making plant medicine
  • creating jewelry
  • crafting regalia pieces, such as T-dresses, ribbon skirts, and shawls

These are opportunities to learn new skills and ways to honor and carry on cultural practices.

We value community suggestions and input for relevant and engaging workshops. Hands-on experiences can help community members feel more connected to their heritage and traditions.

We encourage our community to come together to learn about their culture, gain skills, and share knowledge. These are powerful ways to strengthen cultural identity, foster relationships, and promote overall well-being.

Unkitawa Community and Women's Wellness

Community Night

Community Night is a time to visit, share a meal, and learn about valuable community resources. This is a safe and welcoming space to decompress, connect, learn, and enjoy a tasty meal made in-house featuring traditional foods.

We host community nights twice a month on Thursdays.

Farmers Market Field Trips

From Spring to early Fall, our Community Night team hosts field trips to local farmers markets and provides some families with stipends to purchase fresh produce. We go on market tours to learn about all the benefits and resources. Participants receive traditional recipes for seasonal produce.

Elders Luncheons

We greatly value our elders. We host a monthly luncheon downstairs at our headquarters to show our appreciation. The event starts at 11:30 am with coffee and tea, followed by a hot lunch at noon. We often incorporate traditional foods into the meal. As guests eat, we invite them to share stories or teachings with everyone. We end the lunch with door prizes at or before 2:00 pm.

Self-Help Groups

We host several self-help groups that offer community members wellness through a culturally centered lens.

Art Expressions

Art Expressions is a safe space for our female warriors to come and create. We explore writing and make art that reflects our vision of who we are and what we do in our lives to express our joy, happiness, experiences, and expectations.  Come prepared to meet like-minded individuals and enjoy some “me time.” We look forward to seeing you!! 

We offer cohorts for Native Women and Female Veterans. These are in collaboration with Unkitawa’s Akichita Veteran Warriors Program.

Talking Circles

Our talking circle meets monthly. We focus on understanding, empathy, and connection among participants. We provide a safe and respectful environment where everyone can speak openly from the heart and be heard. 

Wellbriety Wednesday

Our Wellbriety Wednesday classes provide tools and support to help our relatives begin to heal, recognize, and gain culturally centered, healthy ways to address trauma. This program focuses on interweaving traditional ceremony, teachings, and protocols as a framework for wellness. We use Mending Broken Hearts, Medicine Wheel 12 Step, and Warrior Down curriculums to do this challenging work.

Twelve-step modalities are good on their own but often do not engage indigenous people due to the overly religious connotations. However, Wellbriety looks at this in an Indigenous holistic approach, allowing for individual beliefs and culture to be a framework for wellness. We do this work so that, seven generations from now, our children will not have to suffer like many of us have and continue to do.

Unkitawa Self-Help Groups

Traditional Ecological Knowledge - Ecological Classes

The Unkitawa wellness program uses Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) learning opportunities. We explore traditional medicines by learning the interconnection of plants, animals, living systems, traditions, sustainability practices and environmental issues. An integral part of this program is living and learning throughout the seasons as our ancestors did. From soil, plant identification, gathering practices, ceremony, cleaning, preparation, and preservation, participants discover the importance of safety and stewardship based on ancestral teachings.

Some plants we have learned about are nettle, miners lettuce, cleaver, and plantain.

Unkitawa also offers wellness products for the community, including salves, tea, tinctures, and skin care.

Unkitawa Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Photo Galleries

Art Expressions Mask Making Class

Our first Art Expressions class, Mask Making, was outstanding! After the introductions, we smudged and then dug our heels into writing with guided prompts. This got us into our creative zone for making masks. The masks symbolized self-reflection and were very impressive. It was a beautiful experience – the connections, the safe space everyone created.

Various Innovation Program Events