Oyate News - News For The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Community

Program Name: Dakotah Pride Center - Richard Bird, MS, LAC, Program Manager


Last updated 3/16/2021 at 12:27am

Program Name: Dakotah Pride Center - Richard Bird, MS, LAC, Program Manager

Function/Mission Statement: To promote and sustain the quality of life, integrity, and empowerment of SWO Tribal Members by planning, developing and providing alcohol & drug addiction services consistent with the behavioral, physical, cultural and spiritual values of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation.

Service Description: Dakotah Pride is a SD State accredited substance use disorder treatment program which provides alcohol & drug use disorder assessments; a 12-bed adult inpatient residential treatment program; intensive outpatient treatment program for adults; a 26-week aftercare treatment for adults; and a 10-bed transitional care halfway house for adult men and women. Other services provided by Dakotah Pride Center include; transportation for social detoxification; referral/collaboration to Mental Health Department at Indian Health Service; referral/case management for patients with co-occurring substance use disorders and mental health disorders; and a 24-hour on call counselor (742-3114).

MISSION STATEMENT: To promote and sustain the quality of life, integrity and empowerment of the SWO Tribal Members by planning, developing and providing alcohol & drug addiction services consistent with the behavioral, physical, cultural and spiritual values of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation.


1. Intensive Inpatient Treatment Services for Adults: On February 14, 2021 DPC started another treatment group. This group consisted of 7 men and 3 women and all were members of SWO. They will complete on March 12, 2021.

2. Intensive Outpatient Treatment Services: On January 12, 2021 we began Intensive Outpatient Treatment Services. A total of 6 clients were enrolled. This group completed the six –week long treatment on February 18, 2021.

3. Aftercare and Continuing Treatment Services: This group meets weekly on Tuesdays at 6:00- 8:00 pm. The group usually has 10-12 clients in attendance.

4. Transitional & Halfway House Services: On January 29, 2021 we have 10 clients living at the Dakotah Pride Halfway House, with 6 men and 4 women. Two of the women are in the Prenatal Program.

5. Treatment Needs Evaluations: The treatment needs evaluations completed for February 2021 totals 22, with 12 females and 10 males Primary Diagnosis included: Alcohol Use Disorder 12; and Methamphetamine Use Disorder 10.

6. Placement & Referral to inpatient treatment services for Co-occurring Disorders: Since October 1, 2020 we have placed a total of 43 clients using Contract Health funding. Thus far, 19 clients went to Keystone Treatment Center; 21 have been placed at Tallgrass Recovery Center and 3 clients are placed at Project Turnabout in Granite Falls, MN

7. Prenatal Empowerment Program: Dakotah Gonsoir is assigned as the Case Manager for this program. She is working with clients with various services, individual counseling; placement in a sober living environment; referral to treatment and insuring medical appointments are follow up. Two of these clients are staying at the Halfway House until further notice.

8. SD State Accreditation Report: Dakotah Pride Center Program was reviewed by the State Accreditation Team. Dakotah Pride Center Program achieved a score of 83% and thus earning a 2-year certificate.

9. Staff Updates: We congratulations to Brianna Donnell who recently eared at MSW degree for USD in Social Work and also passed the Licensure Examination and is now a State of SD Licensed Addiction Counselor, thank you Brianna for all your hard work for these accomplishments. Also on February 26, 2021 the SWO Hiring Committee hired Jerald Red Buffalo as a CD Counselor for the inpatient unit.

10. New Treatment Center: The Indian Health Service awarded Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate $218,000 to conduct a feasibility study to determine the need for a replacement treatment program to provide treatment for the increase in methamphetamine use and opioid use disorders. Monthly progress reports will be made available by the Treatment Center Feasibility Team.



Dakotah Gonsoir, Case Manager, ACT

Function: The Case Manager (CM) position works primarily with pregnant women who are struggling with substance addiction.

Duties of Case Manager: 1) Addiction assessments; 2) Assist with medical applications; 3) Applications for substance abuse treatment centers; 4) Coordinate transportation for clients of off reservation treatment centers; and, 5) May assist client or client’s family members in completing applications within the court system.


Addiction Assessments/Intakes Completed: One (1) intake completed for Prenatal Empowerment Program. Two assessments completed, three referrals pending assessments to be completed.

Medical Applications: Insured necessary Authorization for Use or Disclosure of PHI was signed priorto coordination of care and treatment services for all clientele served.

Transportation: Ensured that transportation was arranged for Clients to and from prenatal appointments, DSS for SNAP and Medicaid applications, Dakota Crossing for household items and to Treatment CBISA classes.

Applications/Treatment Centers: Reached out to two (2) off-reservation treatment center where women can take their children with them. Purpose was to request information about their program to seek more options for Mothers.

Meetings Attended: 1) SWO Health Plan Stakeholders meeting

CM/Collaborations/Contacts: There were a total of 32 contacts (via phone calls, emails and text messages) made this month with clients, various entities/agencies; i.e., Parole Services, SWO Tribal Court, Full Circle Treatment Center, New Start Treatment Center, State Probation, Indian Health Service, Roberts County Jail, SWO Tribal Headquarters, CPS, House of Hope etc. Letters were drafted to assist a client with SNAP and WIC benefits. Enrolled one pregnant mom into the Prenatal Empowerment Program. Assisted one client with paperwork for South Dakota Housing Authority.

Daily Activities/Other: There is currently one pregnant mother residing in the Prenatal Unit at the halfway house. One client had her baby this month! She is discharged from PEP and awaiting placement for treatment. I am a full time student at SWC and use 8.5 hours for classes, which I try to use via zoom to keep my office open to my clients. I received the President’s Award for maintaining a 4.0 GPA at SWC for the fall semester of 2020.


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