Wellbriety WhiteBison

White Bison

5585 Erindale Dr, Ste 203 | Colorado Springs CO 80918 | Toll Free 877-871-1495



White Bison, Inc., is an American Indian/Alaska Native non-profit charitable organization operating under the provisions of 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code and is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Through White Bison, it's Founder and President Don Coyhis, Mohican Nation, has offered healing resources to Native America since 1988. White Bison offers sobriety, recovery, addictions prevention, and wellness/Wellbriety learning resources to the Native American/Alaska Native community nationwide. Many non-Native people also use White Bison's healing resource products, attend its learning circles, and volunteer their services. White Bison is a NAADAC approved provider (#64009) and a Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Member #11364.  

The White Bison Vision

We are a Native American operated 501(c)3 nonprofit company dedicated to creating and sustaining a grassroots Wellbriety Movement that provides culturally based healing to the next seven generations of Indigenous People.

White Bison is a proud facilitator of the Wellbriety Movement. Wellbriety means to be sober and well. Wellbriety teaches that we must find sobriety from addictions to alcohol and other drugs and recover from the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol on individuals, families and whole communities. The "Well" part of Wellbriety is the inspiration to go on beyond sobriety and recovery, committing to a life of wellness and healing everyday.

Meet Our Leaders

Don Coyhis Don Coyhis, Mohican Nation, is the President and Founder of White Bison, Inc., an American Indian non-profit organization, located in Colorado Springs, CO. Don originally set out to raise awareness and treat alcoholism among Indian youth on the reservations. After studying the underlying causes of alcoholism, White Bison’s mission expanded to include drug addiction, dysfunctional families and relationships, as well as the American Indian suicide rate. From this, the Wellbriety Movement was born. The teachings of Wellbriety go beyond being sober to include thriving in the community and being balanced emotionally, mentally, physical and spiritually. Over the past 26 years, Don has developed a series of culturally-based programs to address recovery and treatment, youth prevention and treatment, programs for healthy families, and healing from unresolved grief and traumatic loss due to intergenerational trauma. These programs are designed help with all facets of family healing and have been implemented throughout the United States and Canada. Don Coyhis was the 2009 winner of the Purpose Prize Award, which was created in 2005 by Encore.org, with funding from the John Templeton Foundation and The Atlantic Philanthropies, to showcase the value of experience and disprove outdated notions that innovation is the sole province of the young. It’s for those with the drive to make change and the experience to know how to do it. Don’s life experiences have enabled him to author several books addressing recovery, treatment, and prevention of alcoholism and substance abuse for adults, youth and families. He has been called upon to provide technical assistance by national policy organizations such as the White House Office of Drug Control Policy, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), as well as other national recovery organizations to develop prevention and recovery programs for Native American/Alaska Native communities. Don has dedicated his life to raising awareness about all issues surrounding alcohol and drug abuse, how it impacts the family system, and most importantly how families and communities can heal from these issues.

Carlos Rivera J.Carlos Rivera is the Executive Director at White Bison, Inc. located in Colorado Springs, CO. Carlos is an enrolled tribal member with the Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians and is also of Mexican descent. He is originally from Northern Ca. but currently resides in Sioux Falls, SD with his family. Carlos, CADC-II, received his degree in Chemical Dependency Studies at the American River College. He served as a substance abuse treatment provider for 10-years at the Sacramento Native American Health Center, Inc. providing services to adult men and women on parole, juvenile offenders and other referrals from the Department of Corrections. He continues to make a difference in Native Tribal communities serving as the Executive Director for White Bison, Inc. In his role he oversees daily operations and is also passionate about developing new curriculum to better meet the needs of Native American/Alaska Native communities. Carlos has also been an active committee member for the Juvenile Justice & Delinquency State Committee for California, appointed by Governor Jerry Brown. Carlos has faced many adversities in his life that have ultimately guided him to build resiliency, discipline and a sense of direction in his life. Carlos grew up without a father or mother figure and became a ward of the court at age 13, resulting in him spending most of his adolescent years in treatment programs, group homes and Youth Authorities. Through the process of treatment and recovery Carlos found a greater purpose in life which inspired and motivated him to establish a healthy foundation for his family.

White Bison's Philosophy

We believe...

  • Mother Earth is governed by a set of Principles, Laws and Values
  • Leadership exists to serve the people first
  • Leadership existence is to ensure that information (Truth) is given to the people
  • Changes are the result of implementing Natural laws
  • All Native people believe in a  Supreme Being
  • In the Elders and teachings as a guiding force to direct ourselves, families and communities
  • That there is a natural order running the universe
  • That our traditional ways were knowledgeable about the natural order
  • When the community leads, the leaders will follow
  • Alcohol and drugs are destroying us and we want to recover
  • That change comes from within the individual, the family and the community
  • That within each person, family and community is the innate knowledge for well being
  • The solution resides within each community
  • Interconnectedness - it takes everyone to heal the community
  • Healing will take place through he application of cultural and spiritual knowledge
  • Alcohol is a symptom...not the cause, drugs are a symptom...not the cause, Domestic Violence is a symptom...not the cause.  To "heal a community" it needs to deal with the cause
  • That the Circle and the Four Directions are the Teachers
  • In the Four Laws of Change
  • Change is from within
  • In order for development to occur, it must be preceded by a vision
  • A great learning must take place
  • You must create a Healing Forest

White Bison Council of Elders

Meet the Elders

Ozzie Williamson, M.A. (Blackfeet) Ozzie has been with us since the beginning. Ozzie taught me to look forward. When this first started, I had doubts about what I was going to do, so I went to see Ozzie, and when I left there I never looked back. One of the stories that Ozzie tells is this: “When I walked down the trail with my grandmother, she always wore moccasins with a soft sole. If there happened to be a little stick on the trail, she would stop and kick it off the trail. One day I said, “Grandma, why do you always do that, why do you always stop and kick those things off the trail?” She said, “It just makes it easier for somebody else to come by.” I never realized until she was long gone years later that the things she tried to tell me were very similar to the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. What I heard in AA was similar to some of her teachings.”

Della Bad Wound Oglala Lakota - Employed in the human services field for 50 years working with women, children, youth and elderly. Her employment included the founding of Western South Dakota Senior Services in western South Dakota as the program director for 17 Nutrition sites for the elders. Denver Indian Health & Family Services, Winyan Wasaka-Women’s Alcohol Prevention Program, Seventh Generation Project, University of Denver; Elderhealth Program with Four World’s Development, Inc. in Lethbridge, Canada; and as a Native Sister with the Native American Cancer Research Project. She has been working with the documentation and preservation of the Lakota Language with the University of Colorado in Boulder for the past 6 years.
Della has one son, Michael and his significant other, one younger sister, one younger brother, many nieces and nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her extended family includes hunka sisters, hunka children and grandchildren. Hunka-making of a relative-adopted.

Dr. Henrietta Mann (N. Cheyenne) has been an integral part of the development of the Wellbriety family programs (Families of Tradition, Mothers of Tradition, Fathers of Tradition, Sons of Tradition and Daughters of Tradition). Her sharing of teachings of the Cycle of Life provided the framework for these trainings. After years as a professor and an advocate for Native sovereignty and wellness, Dr. Henrietta came out of retirement to start a the Cheyenne / Arapaho tribal community college. She does the ceremonies and songs. She also reminds us what we stand for: “We do not need to remain locked into those areas where we feel a great deal of anger and hostility to the dominant population because as White Bison says, we have to forgive the unforgivable. There are many that have and there are many who are yet to do that. Only when we forgive the unforgivable can we really say we are healing, that we have addressed that one aspect of our life. Saying we can forgive, now we can heal.”

White Bison Trainer Bios

Meet Our Trainers

Marlin Farley is from the White Earth Reservation in northwest Minnesota. He has over 27 years of experience in working in the fields of adolescent treatment of emotional/behavioral disorders, family based social work, chemical dependency, restorative justice practices, and as a trainer/consultant in the wellness field. He is the president of Black Stone Consulting. Marlin is also a film producer/director and is the principal owner of Painted Sky Productions. Marlin is a board member and Master Trainer for White Bison Inc. and is a leader in the national Wellbriety Movement.

Sparrow Goudey (Tsalagi/Cherokee/Wyandot) is the founder of Waya Nv-No-Hi (Wolf Road) Healing the Circle Workshops. With 25 years of continued sobriety, she has developed and conducts workshops for both Native and non-Native communities that assist adults and adolescents, affected by drugs, alcohol, eating disorders and mental illness by incorporating curriculum, traditional arts and spirituality as tools for change, growth and recovery. Sparrow is also a trainer for White Bison and the Wellbriety Training Institute. She facilitates Mending Broken Hearts, Medicine Wheel & 12 Steps, Mothers of Tradition, Daughters of Tradition and Wellbriety Celebrating Families curriculums and is devoted to helping individuals and communities that suffer from addiction and trauma.

Darryl Lickers a member of the Turtle Clan is originally from the Six Nations of the Grand River Mohawk Territory in southwestern Ontario Canada. He is of Tuscarora descent, and presently makes his home in Blackfalds, Alberta with his wife Karen. Darryl has recently retired from service with the Canadian Federal Government after 40+ years of service, both with the military (25 years) and his recent position with Corrections Canada as an Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer (23 years). On December 1st, 2015, Darryl completed his career at Pê Sâkâstêw Centre Healing Lodge in Mâskwâcîs, Alberta where he delivered substance abuse, family violence, violence prevention (In Search of Your Warrior) programs as well as White Bison programs Medicine Wheel & 12 Steps, Fathers of Tradition and Mending Broken Hearts. Darryl believes he is fulfilling his purpose in life as a helper by using his experiences and knowledge to help Native people heal from the effects of addiction and other abuses. Darryl has been a friend of Bill W. for the past 40 years (May 11, 1976). We are honoured to have Darryl as one of our Canadian trainers.

Sharyl WhiteHawk is an enrolled member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibway Indians of Northwest Wisconsin, and is the mother of ten children and grandmother of twenty six and counting. She has been in recovery from alcoholism for the past 33 years and is a certified chemical dependency counselor and prevention specialist. She also is a survivor of, childhood and adult, physical and sexual violence and has experience working in the fields of domestic and sexual violence advocacy. She has devoted her life to using her experience and knowledge to help other Native People to heal from the devastating effects of addiction and family and sexual violence. Sharyl facilitates Mothers of Tradition, Mending Broken Hearts, Medicine Wheel 12 Steps, and Families of Tradition and is Founder and Executive director of Women of Wellbriety International.

Hunter Genia, LMSW is a Grand River Band Odawa and Saginaw, Swan Creek, and Black River Band OJibway who has been working in the Behavioral Health field for over 25 consecutive years. His experience has ranged from prevention, mental health, and substance abuse working with children, youth, families, and communities and his roles have varied from direct social work to administration. He has also enjoys being a resource for federal agencies such as SAMHSA and IHS. Hunter enjoys meeting and working with people who are looking to make positive change in their lives and communities. Hunter is most proud to be the dad of three sons Anthony, Joseph, and Hunter.

Micah N. Nickey, is a Sicangu Lakota and a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. He has over 15 years of vocational rehabilitation counseling experience as well as development of professional and para-professional training programs. He uses his life experience and vast knowledge of Native American principles and incorporates them into the Western style of teaching. At the grass roots level, Micah has assisted the communities he serves to develop holistic models that benefit the people spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally. He is a firm believer that we are spiritual beings and we must care for that fundamental dimension of who we are first. His personal work has helped many individuals find a strong sense of meaning and have a healthy identity. These individuals are able to find their center and balance and create good relationships with the people, places, and powers surrounding them. His work as Owner of Nickey Consulting, LLC. has given state and federal agencies as well as small business enterprises and Fortune 500 companies the tools to create inclusive environments, improve their service delivery, and provide services in a culturally relevant manner. Micah holds a BA in Behavioral and Social Sciences and is currently pursuing his MBA.

Andrea Alexander, is Seminole/Creek, a member of the Seminole nation of Oklahoma. She has provided training and consulted with tribal communities, state and private prisons, treatment centers, governmental agencies, and the recovery community at large. She is skilled in individual, group and family counseling specifically focusing on behavior related to substance use and/or criminal behavior, case management, treatment and discharge planning, assessment, liaison work with court systems. She is an experienced facilitator in Relapse Prevention, Early Recovery; both matrix models of treatment. Experience also includes inpatient treatment to sober living. She assisted in working with the implementation and operation of the Muscogee Creek Nation Reintegration Program for offender reentry, the first native American tribal reentry program, also, initiative coordinator at Seminole Nation of Oklahoma Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative. From this, she gained experience with family, juvenile, adult and mental health special courts programs. She is an experienced Wellbriety Circles of Recovery program facilitator with White Bison, Inc. programs in a variety of settings She has a Bachelor of Arts-Sociology with a Substance Abuse Studies option-University of Central Oklahoma and an Associate in Applied Science-Alcohol & Substance Abuse Counseling-Oklahoma State University-OKC.


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White Bison - A sustainable grassroots Wellbriety Movement that provides culturally based healing to the next seven generations of Indigenous people.


Address: 5585 Erindale Dr, Ste 203
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Phone: 877-871-1495
Fax: 719-548-9407

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