General Overview

Talking Circles typically do not follow a structured AA format, nor should they be used for court-ordered attendance. They are a traditional way in which people can gather for support to share about the impact of alcoholism in their community and family.

There is no need to register your talking circle. We suggest, however, that you submit the date, time, and location of the talking circle to NAIGSO so that we may include this information in the Directories for Native American Peoples and Associates. Send the above information to

Suggested Guidance for Talking Circles

Welcome members of your gathering with an opening potluck to share food and express gratitude to Grandfather for life.

  • Form a circle.

  • Leader will give rules and will smudge the circle and the area.

  • Leader shares first - using a sacred element he/she desires.

  • Sharing goes clockwise, giving each brother or sister an opportunity to share from the heart.

  • When someone is sharing, no one is to interrupt. The Leader is the only one that can.

  • If a sister is on her moon cycle, she can ask the next person to her to hold the sacred element and continue to share.

  • If someone in the circle does not wish to share, he/she can pass.

  • The Talking Circle has no time limit. Sharing continues until everyone in the circle as an opportunity to speak.