Back to All Events

Walking the Four Directions: A Traditional View of Discipline

  • Bad River Convention Center U.S. Highway 2 Odanah, WI 54861 United States (map)

Join us on June 15-17, 2015 for a 3-day workshop on using the medicine wheel to develop strength-based techniques when working with tribal youth. 

About the Workshop

Medicine Wheel.png

Using the “Laws of Nature” and an inter-relational view of the world, this workshop explores how the four cardinal directions or “medicine wheel” can be used as a framework that adults can use to help them define a style of teaching, discipline or leadership that is strength-based, non-confrontational and culturally responsive. This workshop will use a variety of techniques and methods such as lecture, small and large group activities, role-playing and demonstrations to deliver the information in a way that is conducive to the adult style of learning.  Ample breaks will be provided throughout the day for meals and time to “check-in” at home.

The workshop content has been updated to include more examples and materials for Early Childhood and Elementary students.

Learning Objectives

Using the "medicine wheel" as a framework, participants will learn:

  • A traditional view of discipline
  • How to build positive relationships with youth
  • Proactive means of teaching or working with youth
  • How to promote balanced youth with strong leadership skills
  • How to move youth towards independence and self-reliance

Workshop Schedule

Day 1 | Monday, June 15, 2015

Registration begins at 8 a.m.  Workshop starts at 9 a.m. 

  • In the morning, participants will be introduced to the concepts of the “Four Directions” (Medicine Wheel) and some attributes of elders which sets the stage for the rest of the workshop.  Teachings of the medicine wheel will be described as it applies to working in the human services field and participants will have an opportunity to do a self-assessment.
  • The afternoon will be spent looking at the “Spiritual Gifts” of the East and the “Emotional Gifts” of the South.  Participants will learn prevention strategies through storytelling and “Teachings of the Cradleboard” and explore a method of praise that is effective with youth.

Day 2 | Tuesday, June 16, 2015

  • The day will be spent exploring the “physical gifts” of the west and “mental gifts” of the north.  Participants will learn how to help youth reach their “full-potential” through practice and how problem-solving can help youth achieve wisdom.  Other topics covered include effective use of consequences and rewards and effective communication techniques when working with youth.

Day 3 | Wednesday, June 17, 2015

  • This last day of the workshop will be spent helping participants “put it all together” in the form of a positive behavioral intervention plan. Other topics include special considerations for early childhood mental health and time will also be committed to answering any other questions and completing a Workshop Evaluation.  

Registration and Fees

The cost is $75 per person, which includes continental breakfast and lunch. Beverages and snacks will also be provided.

About the Presenters

Alan Rabideau

Alan Rabideau.png

Alan is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians located in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan. For the past 22 years, Alan has been working with youth, parents and their families in many different capacities. He has served as a school-based intervention specialist, adolescent substance abuse counselor, program manager of a residential based youth treatment program and a specialized or treatment foster parent.  Mr. Rabideau has provided training to court ordered parents, foster parents and treatment foster care parents, teachers and human services professionals.  Currently Mr. Rabideau works as an independent consultant providing training and technical assistance to state, federal and tribal programs around children’s mental health initiatives, consumer, family and youth “driven” systems of care and positive behavioral support. Mr. Rabideau serves on the Board of Directors for the First Nations Behavioral Health Association and Human Services Research Institute in Cambridge Massachusetts. Mr. Rabideau utilizes his cultural values and beliefs as an Anishinabe to help plan and advise programs so that they are culturally sensitive and “strength-based”. He has three grown foster sons.

Shannon CrossBear

Shannon Crossbear

Shannon is a beautiful, powerful, spiritual Ojibwe /Irish woman whose purpose is to demonstrate and promote gentle healing. She expresses her commitment to healing through her work in the world. As an Independent Consultant for Strongheart Resource development she has offered training and technical assistance to the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, facilitating and consulting with the National Indian Child Welfare Association, Georgetown University, The Garret Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Programs, The National Child Traumatic Stress Networks and the Aboriginal Healing Strategy. Health issues within Ms. CrossBear’s family of origin and community cement her commitment to improving conditions for children. As a survivor of a child who completed a suicide, her sensitivities to the needs of families are paramount in her work. Moving policy to practice through the use of evaluation, research and performance measurement that accurately reflects the voices of families and communities is a part of her personal and professional mission. Ms. CrossBear is a current member of the Executive Committee of First Nations Behavioral Health Association, the Society of TRUTH and the National Family Dialog on Substance Abuse.


Contact Jerianne Kvapil Rosin at or (715) 682-2363, ext. 113
or Janet Schefchik at or (715) 682-2363, ext. 119