The Red Bird Center works in collaboration with Veteran’s organizations to offer healing opportunities for Veterans and their families. These Ceremonies are designed to resolve the soul pain associated with wartime service, and to receive a true welcome home as they are embraced by our greater community. The Center also offers training for professional and community organizations who serve Veterans
- Valor Home in Akron /Lorain – Valor Home, a program of Family & Community Services, Inc. (FCS) (a private, non-profit, 501 c 3 organization) is a transitional housing facility for homeless veterans located in Akron, Oh. Valor Home can serve up to 30 homeless veterans and provides intensive case management, and creative therapeutic art programming to assist veterans in overcoming homelessness. Through this integrated care approach, with support from Department of Veterans Affairs social workers, veterans are able to overcome barriers of reintegrating into the community, obtaining benefits, enrolling in school, finding employment, and obtaining and maintaining permanent housing. FCS has partnered with RBC for over 10 years. The Veterans of Valor Home have been attending a healing retreat quarterly at RBC since the program became operational. Learn more.
- Freedom House in Kent – Provides transitional-housing beds for Veterans and services that include assistance in finding jobs and permanent housing, mental-health and substance-abuse counseling, activities involving veterans in the local community and an after-care program of follow-up support. The Veterans of Freedom House have been attending a healing retreat quarterly at RBC for the last 10 years. Learn more.
- Soldier’s Heart – A unique and comprehensive model to address the emotional, moral and spiritual needs of veterans, their families and communities. Their goal is to alleviate the symptoms of PTSD by developing a new and honorable warrior identity through storytelling, purification, community forgiveness and healing, and restitution as outlined in Edward Tick’s War and the Soul. In addition, they train, and guide military, professional and community-based efforts to heal the effects of war. Soldier’s Heart is dedicated to veterans’ successful return. They are a not for profit 501(c)3 project of the International Humanities Center. Learn more
The services offered by all of our organizations are critically needed to help our Veterans and their families establish successful lives when faced with challenges associated with PTSD, depression, addiction and other soul loss connect to their Military service.
Part of the Red Bird Center’s mission is to offer true healing opportunities for the men and women who have served in all branches of the military. In our Tribal Traditions when our Warriors returned from active service our first action was to tend to the needs of their heart and soul. For those suffering from PTSD and other challenges related to combat service many have stated that the Healing Lodge offered a power healing experience that touched the soul in a way that nothing else ever had, as well as offering an opportunity for rites of passage in their return home.
Indigenous Healing Circle and Earth Based Tradition
For centuries our Warriors have entered the Circle to tell their stories, uncensored understanding they cannot carry the burden alone. A true act of courage is to speak the truth about war and allow the healing that is needed. The Red Bird Center facilitates healing circles both on site and in communities throughout Ohio.
What is a Healing Lodge? (Sweat Lodge)
A Healing Lodge is a sacred rite of purification. One enters the Lodge for the purpose of healing and spiritual wellness. The Healing Lodge was given to Native people by the Creator so that we might live well and successfully. The Lodge is a dome like structure made up of saplings, hides, and blankets. Stones are heated in a ceremonial fire and placed in the Lodge. Certain songs and medicines are used for healing and vision. The steam from the stones is the breath of the Creator, which restores the soul. The Healing Lodge is one of the most ancient and powerful ceremonies known to our people.
Why does someone participate in a Healing Lodge?
People choose to participate in the Healing Lodge when;
- They are in need of healing (healing can occur on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual realms of the human experience)
- Preparing for deployment
- Returning from combat
- If they desire a deeper spiritual connection
- If they need spiritual assistance on a specific goal
- Rites of passage
- To maintain spiritual wellness
2010 Vietnam Healing and Reconciliation Journey
In 2010, Shianne Eagleheart, the Center’s Director, traveled with a group of Veterans to Vietnam to facilitate healing the soul loss connected to their service in Vietnam. She committed a year to this journey to assist this Circle of Warriors and their families in preparations, healing, and in their return home. She has also trained many Veterans’ Organizations in developing effective healing programs through the use of the Indigenous Healing Circle and Earth Based Traditions.
“In our Indigenous communities it is our good medicine way to respond to our Veterans heart and soul needs when they are deployed or return from combat. Our Prophecies tell of a time when we would share these ceremonies cross culturally to support a greater healing of all nations. That time is now.”
Shianne Eagleheart (Haudenosaunee-Seneca)
Comments from Veterans’ Organizations
“I have had the privilege and honor of working with Shianne Eagleheart and the Red Bird Center for over a decade. Since 2009, the agency I work for, Family & Community Services, Inc. (FCS), has been brining Veterans who are homeless on weekend retreats to The Red Bird Center. This multi-cultural healing center excels in helping any who are in recovery from homelessness, addiction, mental health, physical health, and spiritual issues. The Red Bird Center offers such a unique service to our veterans and it is not duplicated by any other program in the community. We have taken hundreds of veterans to The Red Bird Center and in talking to our veterans about what helped them the most during their stay with us, Shianne and The Red Bird Center are always on the top of the list. We have begun to study the transformative impact that the Red Bird Center is having on our Veterans with the help of Kent State University’s Associate Professor of Public Health, Dr. Kele Ding. His research finds are available if interested.”
Director of Veterans Services
Family & Community Services, Inc.
“I consider myself an authority in regard to some veterans’ issues by my service with Mike Company, 3rd Battalion, First Marines, First Marines Division serving in the Republic of Vietnam in 1969 and 1970. I have been dealing with issues as a direct result of combat trauma and have received a diagnosis from the Veterans’ Administration of PTSD. I personally have benefitted from my involvement with the Center and have witness Veterans from all conflicts directly benefitted from the care, knowledge and experience they have received at the Red Bird Center.”
Mike Company, 3rd Battalion, First Marines, First Marines Division
“Shianne Eagleheart has been a strong ally, healer and advocate for Veterans and for the use of Earth-based healing for many years. We have worked closely together in past veteran’s programming. I have reports from many of the Vets in that her contributions to veteran healing through Indigenous and Earth-based Traditions have been significant and transformative. Shianne is a respected, experienced and wise carrier of her Native Healing Traditions and applies them with love, wisdom, and generosity to all who come her way and especially to our Veterans.”