RCHE is one of very few examples nationwide that offers a holistic approach to healing involving both canines and people on a Native American reservation.
RCHE provides an animal-assisted, culturally specific Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum to children and youth dealing with trauma and circumstances that place them at higher risk of suicide.
"Native youth are at the highest risk for suicide among all population groups within the State of Montana. . . . Montana had the highest suicide rate of all U.S. states in 2014 (the latest year for which national data was available) and has been in the top five of this ranking for nearly 40 years. Measured by race from 2005 to 2014, American Indians in Montana have the highest rate of suicide (28.16 per 100,000) followed by Whites (21.07 per 100,000), compared to an overall statewide suicide rate of 21.70 per 100,000 deaths. Suicide among youth and young adults in Montana is also higher than the national average. The national suicide rate for youth ages 11 to 17 is 3.59 per 100,000, while the rate is 8.9 per 100,000 in Montana, which is more than twice the national average. When measured according to race, Native youth and young adults again show substantially higher rates of suicide than Montana’s general youth population. Suicide deaths by American Indians ages 11 to 24 occur at the rate of 42.82 per 100,000 deaths. Compared to the statewide suicide rate of 8.01 per 100,000 for ages 11 to 24, the American Indian rate is more than five times as high." (Montana Native Youth Suicide Reduction Strategic Plan)
RCHE Implements an SEL curriculum that emphasizes coping skills, indigenous cultural rehabilitation and humane education.
RCHE employs canine rehabilitation (healing, socialization, etc.) and training to help people.
Our experience has shown that people heal most when helping animals that themselves need healing.
Moreover, people (especially Native American tribal members) struggling though trauma are often more open to receiving healing from animals. Animals never judge, never exhibit cultural sensitivity, never exploit victims and often exhibit an uncanny, intuitive ability to help where help is needed.
RCHE's SEL approach applies concepts like “positive reinforcement,” “rewarding negative behavior,” “salience,” “The Premack Principle,” “patience,” “habituation” and “emotional mirroring” to cultivate social skills such as emotional self-awareness, focus, discipline, equanimity, delaying gratification, etc.
RCHE prioritizes canines rescued from Montana's Reservations, and especially those rescued through ARC's Paws on the Ground (POG) program on the Flathead Indian Reservation.
Due to genetic, social, evolutionary and environmental factors, reservation dogs are rarely aggressive and are often ideally suited for therapy work.
RCHE provides a safe, nurturing and edifying place for adults transitioning through crises such as domestic abuse, incarceration, depression, effects of historical trauma, loss, etc. Therapy is provided with assistance of animals and professionals.
RCHE provides a village and seasonal "camp" of small, safe, modular therapy units including tipis.
RCHE offers summer critter camps emphasizing humane education, culturally relevant knowledge and animal skills for youth from the Flathead Indian Reservation
RCHE offers an equine therapy cultural component that emphasizes culturally relevant knowledge, skills and relationships.