October 26, 2009

Mohican wins for wellbriety program

Springs man wins $100k prize for program that helps Native Americans

By Debbie KelleyAfter marking 31 years of sobriety in August, Don Coyhis considered retiring from the nonprofit organization he founded 21 years ago in Colorado Springs to help Native Americans overcome alcoholism, drug abuse and other health and social issues facing their communities.

This month, however, he got news that made him rethink his idea. His organization, White Bison, was named one of five winners of the Purpose Prize. The payout: $100,000.

The national award is run by a San Francisco-based think tank, Civic Ventures, and funded by various foundations. It recognizes social innovators over 60 years old and in “encore careers,” who are solving problems that face communities. This year’s winners, chosen from among 1,200 nominees, are being announced today.

Coyhis, 66, said the money will help catapult his organization to the next level—much like the white bison image he saw rising out of the ground while he was fasting in the Rampart Range mountains two decades ago, inspiring him to use his Indian culture to help his people overcome addiction.
Comment:  Sounds like a good program. Tribes with alcohol problems, give it a try!

For more on the subject, see Drunken Indians.

Below:  "Don Coyhis is the founder of local nonprofit White Bison. He won a $100,00 national award for social innovation." (Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

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