More than just a restaurant, Café Gozhóó is a part of a recovery program for historical trauma, while also restoring healthy local food traditions in a food desert. It is a vocational training program of the Rainbow Treatment Center, an addiction treatment program run by the White Mountain Apache tribe since 1976. Historical traumas often manifest as addictions, so executive chef Nephi Craig uses the kitchen to teach therapeutic skills to people recovering from substance abuse. In their language, "Gozhóó" means happiness, harmony or balance. Much of their produce is grown locally at the tribe's 900-acre Ndée Bikíyaa (People’s Farm) which serves local schools. Working on White Mountain Apache land is central to the cafe’s success -- addiction and alcoholism are health disparities that result from being cut off from one's land, culture and resources. "My family’s from here. My heritage is from here. The power that keeps me sober is from here," Craig says. "Everything we need for recovery is woven into our culture already."

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