CSLA members, John Ammon and Pete Melendez, presented a workshop on "Native American Fatherhood: Healing the Trauma of our History and Reconnecting with our Culture, Spirituality and Tradition" at the 9th Annual Fatherhood Solution Conference sponsored by The Children's Institute in Los Angeles on June 17, 2016.
The conference goals were to strengthen relationships between fathers and their at-risk children. Over 35 people attended Pete and John's workshop as a function of their newly developed program Turtle Medicine Lodge Training Academy (TMLTA). Fatherhood is a spiritual journey of hope and healing in which men gather to confront past and present traumatic events in their life. They are encouraged and supported along the path of finding healthy and balanced lifestyle that transcends cultural boundaries and forms an all-inclusive universal culture.
The workshop was a PowerPoint presentation containing a vast historical overview of European ecclesiastical doctrine which was in conflict with the original people of the Americas. Sports and recreational activities were illustrated as effective in helping to develop self-confidence and esteem. A guided healing meditation provided a hands-on experience to the participants showing how to relax and release negativity thereby reducing stress.
As part of TMLTA, men are taught and modeled the skills to help identify the roots of their toxicity and how to manage and eventually overcome them. At the conclusion of TMLTA's 15-week journey, they graduate as members of a new tribe - a tribe of men who've gained a renewed vision of their role as loving and nurturing parents.