By Tilden Bird
The Fourth Annual Community Prayer Breakfast was held at the Northern Lights Gymnasium in New Town on January 7, 2016. Over 60 people attended the event, which featured a breakfast of eggs, potatoes, biscuits and gravy, and other delicious items. Attendees were also treated to several speakers on a variety of subjects.
An opening prayer was offered by Tommy Mandan, followed by Kevin Finley, master of ceremonies, introducing TAT Chairman Mark Fox. “The biggest part of what the Creator has to offer is about forgiveness. Some of our people need to get rid of hopelessness,” Chairman Fox said. “That’s what God does for them, and says ‘your life does have value, you are a child of God, you are special.’”
Following the Chairman’s speech, door prizes were given, and Kevin Finley introduced Neal Hale, who took the stage and performed several gospel songs on guitar.
Afterward, Dr. Deborah Dennison, President of the National Advisory Council on Indian Education, took the stage to speak. Her daughter, Kassidy Dennison, a Women’s Professional Barrel Racer and eight-time Indian World Champion, was visibly touched when speaking about the kindness shown upon her arrival at Fort Berthold. The Dennisons were special guests of North Segment Councilman Ken Hall.
Keith Bear, renowned flute player, also performed at the Prayer Breakfast, joking that he would pay for his breakfast with a song. The final guest was keynote speaker Dr. Russell Stands Over Bull.
Near the conclusion of the Prayer Breakfast, Lana White said, “I thought it was beautiful. Very powerful and uplifting.”
“I’m thankful to be here and I think it’s a blessing that we have so many people that are coming together to pray for one another.” Donna Quincy, another event attendee, stated. “I think that we all need prayer in our lives, just like we need to eat, drink, and breathe air.”
“I came to the Prayer Breakfast to share a word of prayer with my friends, my relatives, and to hear what others have to say. Prayer is a very strong thing in our native beliefs,” said Keith Bear. “I appreciate a good, free breakfast. Some prayers are answered by a free breakfast.”