Jesse Guardipee on Native American recovery: “We Can Make a Difference” [Video]

We Can Make a Difference


Jesse Guardipee, a Portland drug and alcohol counselor and a Native American, has a message for Native people – and for all of us. Here’s part of what he says in this video.

“There’s only 7 percent of us out there, that are Native and working in the field. We need more. And the only way we’re going to get that is if you reach out, get united and come along. Our elders are reaching out to us. We need to reach out and help them – by listening.

“The #1, 2, and 3 killers of our people are suicide, homicide, and now diabetes. We’re dying at that rate, and it shouldn’t be happening. A lot of our young, as well as our older ones, our elders, are dying. We only come to about 2 million people – less than 1 percent of the total population today, whereas at one time we used to flourish with 100 million. Not today.

“We’re at the rate of suicide, in some areas, over 150 percent higher than the national rate. That’s scary. We’re losing children. We need to stop it. The only way we’re going to do that is if we get together, and find a better way. We’re losing too many of our people. And it’s not getting easier.

“As a people, let’s start doing something to help each other. We need to start taking time out and saying, hey, you can make it to that better way. We can learn to be without alcohol and drugs in our lives. We can help each other.”

Contact Jesse at