Balloon Fiesta

Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court


Explore Section

Native American Specialty Court hosts Summer Feast in recognition of participants’ journey to recovery

July 27, 2023

The Metropolitan Court’s Urban Native American Healing to Wellness Court held a Summer Feast in late July in recognition of its participants’ progress in the program. The traditional potluck-style feast aims to promote the feeling of community amongst those in the program and those guiding them on their road to recovery. 

“Much of the healing that takes place through the program is done using traditional wellness practices, and we want to enhance that by coming together for this long-held native tradition. The Healing to Wellness Team recognizes how hard our participants work to gain sobriety, and we want to celebrate their progress,” said Judge Renée Torres, who has presided over the Urban Native American Healing to Wellness Court for six years now.  

The Urban Native American Healing to Wellness Court takes a holistic approach to achieve the spiritual and physical recovery for self-identified Native Americans with two or more DWI convictions, while still holding them accountable. The intensive year-long program uses traditional wellness principles to meet the needs of its participants who are from numerous tribes, through groups such as Food As Medicine, Women’s and Men’s Wellness, Cultural Enrichment, Traditional Arts, Talking Circles and others designed to build a sense of community and to reconnect participants with their culture.      

Forty-four participants are currently in the program, and as of March of this year, the program recorded a 5.77% recidivism rate amongst those who successfully graduate. In recent months, eight participants have graduated from the program.  

The Summer Feast began with a traditional prayer, and in addition to food, traditional drum and flute songs were performed. Those in attendance also heard words of encouragement from a prior graduate of the program. The event will took place in the court’s 2nd Floor Jury Room.