ALL ABOUT AA COUNCILS

"Our nations are circles of strength and love. With every moment of recovery, unity, and service, the circles grow and multiply. Each moment shared adds more love. Every crisis faced together makes the circle stronger."

"Grandfather & Family" -- permission to use artwork from Sam E.


- Council membership consists of those attending.
- Councils should hold meetings at least quarterly i.e. every three months.
- Councils should be hosted by a different Group (rotated) each time.
- Councils are in unity with the vision and empowered by the Spirit of the 12 steps and 12 Traditions, but are self-directed in nature.
- Councils initiate and support starting other Councils.
- Council members travel and support other Councils and Group meetings. Travel by two or more suggested.
- Council expenses will be funded in accordance with the 12 traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. That is, by individual contributions, Group contributions, and NAIGSO.
- Councils will be potluck.
- Council's format should include the reading of the 12 Traditions of AA (short form).
- NAIGSO, an integral part of the circle, serves Councils and Groups.
- NAIGSO expenses will be funded in accordance with the 12 traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. That is, by contributions from individuals, Groups, and Indian AA Councils.

I. AA Council vision:

"In 1990, a vision came to a Paiute Indian named Earl L. Jr., an alcoholic from Bishop, California. Earl saw the Indian Nations coming together in unity, celebrating sobriety, and embracing their culture. Earl's vision began with a National/International Indian AA convention in which he saw the extended helping hand of AA as being attractive within Indian Country. As envisioned, the General Service Structure of the Fellowship includes Indian AA Councils. The Councils are dynamic and alive. They interact and nourish one another and are empowered by the Spirit of the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions. Earl's vision saw our traditional ways as adding to the warmth and unconditional love of AA's principles. In 1999, on the day Earl passed into the spirit world, he signed a letter to the Native nations honoring their sovereignty and requesting their consensus for the NAIGSO-AA to interact with their people. Now Earl joins us in Council and the vision rests on our shoulders."

II. How to start:

- Identify the targeted area. The area does not have to adhere to map boundaries. It may be small or large - it need only be large enough effectively and efficiently to provide service to the alcoholic.
- Identify the chairman who will coordinate the activity.
- Start activity with letters, phone calls, E-mails, and personal visits to AA groups. Remember to include other key elements and individuals in the targeted area. Try to reach all A.A. friends. AA does not become affiliated with any entity but tries to cooperate with all. This should be accomplished in a timely manner and not drag out too long.
- NAIGSO-AA to support as much as they can with money, time, and effort.
- Pick a central location and schedule a date/time for the first Indian AA Council Gathering.
- Continue Indian AA Council Gatherings quarterly,
- As possible, rotate the Council Gathering location.

III. How to facilitate:

1. Welcome to the Indian AA Council Gathering of Alcoholics Anonymous. My name is ______________ . I'll be your alcoholic facilitator for the evening.
2. "For those who wish, could we have a moment of silence for those who still suffer, followed by the Serenity Prayer.... God - Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." (page 130 of the Twelve and Twelve)
3. "Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety." (Reprinted with permission of the AA Grapevine)
4. I have asked ______________ to read the "Twelve Traditions of Alcoholic Anonymous."
5. "In 1990, a vision came to a Paiute Indian named Earl L. Jr., an alcoholic from Bishop, California. Earl saw the Indian Nations coming together in unity, celebrating sobriety, and embracing their culture. Earl's vision began with a National/International Indian AA convention in which he saw the extended helping hand of AA as being attractive within Indian Country. As envisioned, the General Service Structure of the Fellowship includes Indian AA Councils. The Councils are dynamic and alive. They interact and nourish one another and are empowered by the Spirit of the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions. Earl's vision saw our traditional ways as adding to the warmth and unconditional love of AA's principles. In 1999, on the day Earl passed into the spirit world, he signed a letter to the Native nations honoring their sovereignty and requesting their consensus for the NAIGSO-AA to interact with their people. Now Earl joins us in Council and the vision rests on our shoulders."
6. "At this time, we'll go around the circle and introduce ourselves.... My name is _________________ and I am an alcoholic. My home group is _________________"
7. Start an attendance sheet around the circle.
8. Facilitate discussion of any Council business. At a convenient time after all have arrived and before anyone leaves, pass the 7th tradition. At the end of the meeting summarize the assigned actions of business and indicate time/date/location and "host" of the next Indian AA Council Gathering.
9. I have asked __________________ to read the "Indian Prayer."
10. Turn the meeting over to the host for the closing remarks and prayer.
11. Close the meeting in the usual manner.

Councils file revised Sept. 2004, Mar. 2005