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from the John Templeton Foundation and The Atlantic Philanthropies, to showcase the value of experience and disprove outdated notions that innovation is the sole province of the young.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.