May 25, 2024 – A documentary aiming to combat addiction and alcoholism, with the help of Cherokee County recovery resources … Jeff Reddick, an independent filmmaker will depict how Tahlequah is a hub for recovery. Since Tahlequah has a high opioid overdose death average and multiple systems are in place to help with addiction, Reddick said the project is getting people’s attention.The film will enter the production phase around July or August …An example of what the film will feature is the teachings of the Peaceful Warrior’s Way, whether through the talking circles or the healing forrest model.

“We basically look at this area prior to European contact, and prior to the boarding school experiences, we had in our soil …it was made up of ceremonies and spirituality and innerconnectedness. From that we had healthy youth, healthy elders, healthy figures, and as alcohol and drugs have happened, that soil has become corrupted,” Audrey Dietz, Peaceful Warrior’s Ways assistant program manager, said.

Since the soil has become corrupted, Dietz said, they have now found guilt, shame, fear, and anger, and it’s getting worse.

“What we looked at was, if we take one of these people out and send them somewhere to recovery and they come back, they go back in that same soil. They are going back into that guilt and that shame, and they’re going to become sick again,” Dietz said.

The Peaceful Warrior’s Way was started by Sam Bradshaw, as a Native-focused recovery effort, and Dietz said the group has now tried to go back to traditional ways to help with healing.

The film has added several people into the mix, including Lily Gladstone, an actress known for her role as Mollie Kyle in “The Killers of the Flower Moon,” for narration and voiceover, and Andy Lauer as a writer and director. Others are co-authors of “Walking in Balance” Abraham Bearpaw and Jenne Barnes, Don Coyhis creator of the Wellberity Movement, Amanda Reed, and Rachel Mint as a co-producer.