Guest Blogger: Fr. Anthony

Greetings from the banks of the Missouri River!  The weather is still mild, which is great for the hunters, but not so nice for the farmers and ranchers.

Fr. Steve and a group of students and staff headed for the Big Apple this weekend for a donor luncheon.  Last year when they tried, Hurricane Irene brought everything to a standstill.  This year they are coming in right behind Superstorm Sandy.  The group took letters of support and encouragement from all the students at St. Joseph’s to those impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  They were passed out at the lunches so that our guests and others would know that they have not been forgotten as they face the challenge of putting their lives back together.

A variety of things happened here at St. Joseph’s that highlight the activities and events our Lakota students can get involved in.  Our student council leaders went to the state capitol in Pierre, South Dakota to be part of more than 90 schools, churches, veterans groups, social clubs and others designated to decorate the Christmas trees that are being set up around the capitol building.

Our inter-city basketball league is going great guns and we have been able to see some good results.  There was a young lady last year from Chamberlain who got involved but did not seem to get a lot of playing time.  This year when the Chamberlain Cubs came to play the St. Joseph’s Braves, she was part of the team!  She seemed to be the first or second one off the bench.  It shows the impact the program can have because it gave her the opportunity to improve herself and make new friends.  The boys from the area are taking part in the program now and the games have been interesting.

This past Sunday, the Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota held a Mass of Thanksgiving in honor of our first Native American Saint, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lily of the Mohawks.  Several of our students went to the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Sioux Falls to take part.  Besides the Mass, a statue was erected in her memory and honor.  As Kateri is a patron saint for ecology, the group then visited butterfly complex to see beauty in flight.  They ended the day by driving by the water falls that give Sioux Falls its name.  The falls are lit, making for a very picturesque scene.

Recently one of our high school students, Erika, had the privilege of casting her first vote in a national election. What really made it special, however,was that she was interviewed as she came out of the polling area and was asked which issue meant the most to her.  Her response was the bond issue the local high school was trying to get approved that would help fund a new cultural and activity center at Chamberlain High.  Erika saw it as a valuable addition to the school, but sadly it went down to defeat since it needed 60% plus one of all those voting.  It only got in the mid-50% range.

Things are getting interesting for our high school students as the winter sports of wrestling and boys’ and girls’ basketball get under way.  Wrestling started last week and some of our young men are going out.  Girls’ basketball got underway today, which means several girls will be staying over the Thanksgiving Break so they can attend practice.  The boys hit the court next Monday and a good number are planning on going out for that.

As we approach Thanksgiving, it is a reminder of our gratitude for your generosity.  The students and staff  keep you in their prayers.  May the Great Spirit bless you with good health, much happiness and safe travel if you are heading ‘over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go!’

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


St. Joseph’s Indian School

Guest Blogger: Peggy

Greetings!  I am Peggy and I am a fourth grade teacher.  I have worked at St. Joseph’s Indian School for about 32 years.  I started in the dorms and, after three years in the dorms, I moved to the school.   I have seen a lot of changes in my years here.  These changes have made life and education for the students much better.

When I first came, we had 40-60 kids in a dorm setting.  Now, each of St. Joseph’s 19 homes has 12 students.  Not only does this make things easier to handle, but more time is spent meeting the students’ needs.  I remember my first Christmas here; we had to really scrape to find enough toys to give the kids even one gift.  Many were missing pieces, but the kids were appreciative.  Now, our benefactors bless the children with many nice things all year long.  I am always amazed by the generous gifts we receive.

Our classrooms also used to be 25 students and up.  We are now blessed, even a little spoiled, to have 12 students per classroom.  This helps us work with the student’s individual needs.  There are times I feel overwhelmed by 12 students, but quickly remind myself how it used to be.  State and Federal standards have changed a lot about the way we teach.  While at times it is frustrating, I know that following these standards will give our students the education they need to compete in our ever-changing world.

When I first arrived, my living quarters were on campus in what is now the Health Center.  The Lakota Homes were an empty field, and classes were held in what is now the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center.  Sometimes, I am amazed at all the changes in my lifetime here!  One memory of my first year is having to pick sand burrs out of the football field on our time off.  I remind fellow employees that there are still a few of us here that did that, and they need to thank us!  🙂

Each day, I have students begin by writing in their journals.  They are asked to write at least two things they are thankful for.  There are days that it is hard for all of us, but it shouldn’t be.  My classroom faces the Missouri River.  I remind them; we can look out our window and have plenty to be thankful for.  Not everyone is blessed to have such beauty in their sight every day.  I want the students to be able to see good in every day, no matter what they are facing.  Many times, it a good lesson for this teacher to remember as well!  My class has done a very good job at with their thankful journals this year.

The fourth and fifth graders got a new Science series this year, called Science Fusion.  I am excited to work with this new and updated Science series.  It blends so well with the skills we are teaching in Math and Reading!  I have always found that fourth graders really like Science.  Hopefully with this new series, we can keep that excitement alive.

I hope everyone is enjoying fall.  It’s my favorite time of year.  I miss the Ohio falls and colors, but have found South Dakota to have their own colors and beauty.  I hope, as with my students, you can find things in your everyday lives to be thankful for.

Guest Blogger: Fr. Anthony

Greetings from the banks of the Missouri River! Fr. Steve is away for a meeting and that gives me the chance to share what’s happening here at St. Joseph’s.

It was a relatively quiet weekend since the powwow is over. Chamberlain High School had an open weekend for sports since their Homecoming was last weekend. Though it seems we just started the school year, our high school students are already at mid-term and had Friday afternoon off. It gave our high school students the chance to work on any “incompletes” they may have. This is important, since all five of our high school homes are have a little competition – whichever home has the fewest “incompletes” will receive a trophy and, of course, bragging rights.

One of the key points our upper classmen share with the incoming freshmen is don’t fall behind in your studies. It is hard to catch up!

The Chamberlain High School soccer team had their last home game on Saturday against Belle Fourche and it was Parent Appreciation Day. Though none of our students are on the team this year, several of our staff have sons and daughters on the team. I was there as an assistant referee (AR), and some of our younger students came up to enjoy the game since they are involved in soccer here on campus.

Native American kids learning about space!
The youngsters here at St. Joseph’s Indian School learned so much in their Star Base classes!

Our fifth grade students had the chance to visit Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, South Dakota to complete their Star Base class held here at St. Joseph’s all last week. They study physics and other sciences, planting a seed that may encourage our young people to dream about trips into space or perhaps become part of NASA one day.

The sixth, seventh and eighth-grade volleyball teams did well as they traveled to Pierre Indian Learning Center in Pierre with each team winning their matches. This week they will play against Chamberlain, our cross-town rivals. Also on the calendar is a seventh and eighth-grade football game against the Chamberlain Cubs to be held here at St. Joseph’s on Tuesday.

St. Joseph's Indian School presents its Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Orville’s son and daughter-in-law accepted the Distinguished Alumnus Award on his behalf.

There is a conference on Native American Education taking place at Cedar Shores, a hotel and convention center just across the river from us (the same location where the banquet for our powwow guests was held). One of the presenters is Mr. Bud Webb, the son of Orville Webb, a member of St. Joseph’s first graduating class back in 1928. He had represented his father last year when his dad was honored, along with another graduate in that class, with St. Joseph’s Indian School’s alumni award. He stopped by on Sunday to attend Mass in Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel.

In the “be careful what you wish for” category, we had been praying for good weather for the powwow, which we got. We also prayed for cooler temperatures and we got them. We have had cool weather in the mornings, but Saturday stayed nippy all day even though the sun was out. It was in the mid 50’s but seemed cooler since things had been so warm. We do still need rain, but the cooler temperatures were nice to experience.

We hope you have a wonderful week! Thanks again for your interest in and support of St. Joseph’s Indian School. Know that we are grateful and keep you in our prayers.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ
St. Joseph’s Indian School

Guest Blogger: Fr. Anthony

Dear Benefactors:

Greetings once again from the banks of the Missouri River at St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, SD.  Fr. Steve is in transit coming back from a donor luncheon in the Boston area.  He stated there was good attendance and when they were finished the team had a chance to do some whale watching.

Since he is away, I was asked to ghost write his blog.  My name is Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ and I am the chaplain here at St. Joseph’s. I had the chance last year to help out when Fr. Steve was away and am happy to be in contact with you again.

The students and staff are starting to settle in as we begin the third week of school for grades 1-8 and second full week for our high school students who started on August 15th.

Several of our high school students are part of the Chamberlain High School Cub’s football team.  They had their first game this past Friday night out in Hot Springs, in the Black Hills, and brought home a 7-0 victory.  This Labor Day weekend, they will have their first home game against Valentine, Nebraska.

Football is in the air at St. Joesph’s just as many of the pro-teams are in the midst of their training camps.  Practice is underway for the Chamberlain/St. Joseph’s youth tackle football fundamental league open to students in the 5th and 6th grades.  The young people have some fun while learning the basics and it is a good way for all involved to make new friends.  In early September flag football will get underway for those in grades 1-4.  There will be footballs being thrown, kicked, fumbled and caught four nights out of the week.

This past Saturday morning, we saw 60+ young people from the local area around Chamberlain come to St. Joseph’s campus to take part in a youth triathlon.  Those under six took part in a bike ride and run.  The 7-15 age group  swam, biked and ran around the campus.  Many of our younger students took part in this event.  St. Joseph’s is always honored to take part in events that strive to offer fun and safe activities for local young people and their families.

Progress on renovations at St. Joseph's Indian School.
Progress on the Akta Lakota Museum!

The new addition to the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center is making a lot of progress since the groundbreaking at last year’s powwow. (Reminder that this year’s powwow will be September 13-16.  Hope you can come.)  Most of the new structure’s exterior is done and the remainder of time needed to get it ready will take part inside as the new display area is worked on along with the section on the history of St. Joseph’s Indian School.

One benefactor came through this past weekend on her way to view the Powwow at Pine Ridge.  She is coming back to visit St. Joseph’s and make a tour of our campus and facilities.  She came all the way from New York state.  The students welcomed her at our Sunday liturgy and then many of them and our staff thanked her for the items she brought.  We are always grateful for your generosity and keep you in our prayers asking that God will continue to bless and strengthen you.

Hope all of you have a safe, relaxing and enjoyable Labor Day weekend.

Group sessions and spiritual efforts

Staff continue to ready the campus and themselves for our students’ arrival. Teachers have been in classrooms, hanging posters and setting out books and supplies on each desk, which now have student names on them. Houseparents are setting out bedding and making progress charts and decorating homes with signs of welcome. Orientation week is a combination of group sessions to go over important policies like fire safety or pastoral care support. It is also a time for each person to attend to their own area and make sure they have the materials and resources they will need.

I stopped by the school, and found all the 6th-8th grade teachers in the conference room with Scott, one of our family service counselors. One by one, he was doing a file review of each of the 30 boys that he counsels. He tried to visit each one at their home over the summer, and gave updates on how they have been doing. Many of the teachers know the students well already, and could give the new teachers insights into student issues and behavior. We work hard at communicating with each other so we can have a common, helpful approach and plan for each of our students. Later in the year, parents and guardians will be invited to join the group and discuss the needs and progress of their children.

We have two new pastoral care staff, Clare and Joe, that will be teaching religious education and helping with spiritual efforts  on campus. Fr. Anthony, our campus chaplain and I met with them to begin discussion of immediate needs and long term considerations. I look forward to seeing what we can develop for both staff and students.

I drove the two SCJ novices to Fort Thompson for evening mass. The church is on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation, 25 miles north of Chamberlain. This is James’ very first time in South Dakota, and he gazed out the window at the magnificent view of the Mighty Mo (Missouri River) as it swept through the wide valley far below. Both guys took a lot of pictures along the way. I suggested to the staff here, and the parishioners there, that some day one of these two young men might be working side by side with them.

Interaction and pride of community

The weekend began with the Feast of the Sacred Heart  – a day of celebration for my religious order, the Priests of the Sacred Heart. St. Joseph’s Indian School’s campus was somewhat quieter because it is a holiday for most of our employees. But since the work of child care goes on, we still saw plenty of activity on campus.

Our recent eighth-grade graduates wrapped up their three-week transition program preparing them for their fall entrance into Chamberlain High School. I joined the group in the school assembly room where their parents or guardians gathered for a meal, and to learn more about the High School Program. With the help of students as readers Shana (HS Director) reviewed the expectations and privileges which are different for our older students.  Freshman year is a crucial year in working toward student retention and success. Students who struggle and get behind in 9th grade dramatically increase their odds of dropping out of school. Shana and her staff have developed a Three Way Covenant with our parent partners. We lay out the promises and support of our staff, and ask for students and their families to each do their part to keep these young people on track.

In the evening, the other SCJs working on the Indian reservations in Lower Brule and Fort Thompson stopped by the house for a time of socializing, then we went out for dinner together to continue the fellowship. Fr. Guntoro, an Indonesian SCJ preparing for missionary work in China, is visiting for a couple of weeks. He has also worked in the Philippines and India.

Town was literally buzzing Saturday with the sound of hydroplane boats racing on the Missouri River. From the banks in front of St. Joseph’s we could see the racing boats traveling at speeds in excess of 100 mph. They kicked a spray of water high into the air, and the roar of the engines could be heard miles away. The river, also known as Lake Francis Case at Chamberlain, was filled with boaters enjoying the weather and the unique action, which has visited our city annually for the past three years.

I took Lauren, one of our summer interns for a tour of Crow Creek and Lower Brule Indian reservations, and was joined by two girls from our High School Program. Erica is a local from Fort Thompson, and was an excellent tour guide, pointing out many local things that even I didn’t know. She stood on the powwow grounds and described the pageantry, interaction and pride of community that takes place at powwows. Being a teenager, she was also honest in saying that it was a good place to check out the cute boys!

We drove out to the Crow Creek community, which is several miles off the already lonely highway. Lauren noticed that although there were houses, no stores and not even a gas station existed in the community. Some of the rural communities don’t have good access to the basics, and some families even lack reliable transportation.

She got an immediate idea of how problematic that can be.

In Lower Brule, we  stood in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark near a place called The Narrows, and looked out onto the majestic Missouri River. The tribe has reconstructed a Mandan earth lodge which gives visitors a sense of how some of the plains tribes who settled more permanently along the river lived.

Sunday was a sad day as we bid the final farewell to Al and Sue, two former St. Joseph’s houseparents who died together of carbon monoxide poisoning. They were on vacation on their houseboat and asleep when the boat engine apparently malfunctioned. The turnout for the memorial service was quite large and a good support to their children and grandchildren. Their kids took some consolation in that Al and Sue died peacefully, in their sleep, together and doing something that they love. At the same time it is intensely difficult to face the death of one parent, let alone both at the same time.

Several former students came back to town to say their farewells. Many alumni who live close by were there. Kami, Kayla and Gina made about a four-hour trip from the northern part of the state to be in attendance, which said a lot about the difference Al an Sue made for them. Houseparents at St. Joseph’s are very involved in the lives of the young people here, and alumni often call and keep in contact, asking for guidance and advice. The whole community grieves their loss.

Busy weekend for Fr. Steve

One of Chamberlain’s most beloved landmarks is the bridge that spans the Missouri River from Chamberlain to Oacoma. Yesterday afternoon, a group of local bridge builders came home to a hero’s welcome. After one full year of deployment in Afghanistan, the 200th Engineer Company of the National Guard based here in Chamberlain returned. Many of our students lined the streets to offer their appreciation as fire trucks with sirens blaring, motorcycles and police cars  escorted the troops  on a parade through town. Afterwards prayers and words of appreciation were offered at a program in the armory. Several of our staff had joyful reunions with family members we have prayed for since they’ve been gone. The unit built five bridges in their time overseas. Sadly, one member, SPC Jared Roe, lost his life in a construction accident, and he was remembered again with a time of silence.

Today at mass we honored many groups of people. Our Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to two men, Casmir LeBeau and Orville Webb, who were two of the original group of 47 students who started St. Joseph’s in 1927!

Orville’s son Bud came in his place, but 95 year old Casmir stood up to receive his award and talked about the old days with our students, eliciting both laughter and wonder. He has been one of our St. Joseph’s historians, gathering and preserving many memories from those early days. After serving in the Coast Guard in WWII, Casmir worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs until his retirement. What amazed me was the small staff the school began with – two priests, three dorm supervisors, two teachers and a maintenance man.

Fittingly on Mother’s Day we honored all the mothers, and women who work as houseparents with a flower and a prayer of blessing.

We honored our eighth graders who will graduate in two weeks. Their just-completed class banner for 2012 advises “We are strong as individuals, but as a class we are invincible.” There is great power in community and working together, and I hope they keep that attitude throughout life.

And we honored our four high school graduates, all of whom have been at St. Joseph’s for many years. We’ve seen D’Kera (12 years) Danisha and Nick (11 years) and Erin (8 years) grow into fine young adults with lots of gifts to offer the world that needs so much. They will walk up the aisle next Sunday at the Chamberlain High School to receive their diplomas. All plan to attend college next year.

After a tasty dinner prepared in our dining hall, we viewed a slide show and video message from each student that helped us remember their years here. Family and staff members who wanted to share a reflection or memory were invited to do so, and there were a lot of emotional moments as our students prepare to move on. But that is our goal, to get young people ready to leave us, and move on to what the future can hold for them.

Back from spring break

Many of our Lakota students enjoyed a spring break this past week. Our homes all opened up at noon today. While the students appreciate a chance to go home, I also notice that a few days off this time of year does wonders for our teachers and houseparenting staff. As we start the fourth quarter, staff are returning with renewed energy for the flurry of activity as we head towards graduation and all the end-of-the-school-year activities.

My week began with some community days of recollection. Fr. Jim from Milwaukee gave us a series of talks about spirituality and we took time to break from activity to spend extra time during this season of Lent in prayer and reflection. Mid-week, I made a quick trip to Wisconsin for a finance meeting for my religious order, the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJs).

Fr. Ed, who is retired in Milwaukee, brought out an index card box full of pictures. All were from 1965 when he was stationed here in South Dakota, and he asked me if we were interested in having the photos for our historical center. Many of the pictures were from the end of the year when families came to pick up students. Others were from the bus trip taking students home to North Dakota.

In those days, many of the students who came from that distance – more than 5 hours away – didn’t see their families from September through May, and the photos touched on their stories. As our Akta Lakota Museum expansion project continues to rise, several people have come forward with pictures and memorabilia that fill in St. Joseph’s history.

Campus wasn’t totally quiet during spring break. We kept one of the homes open for 13 students whose family situation made it better for them to remain here. Daves, Louie and Rudy are three brothers who live in different homes during regular school year because of their age difference, but were glad to have some family time together in the break home. They were the only boys in the group, but still got along well with the ten girls who stayed. The kids and houseparents in the break home enjoyed many activities on campus, and also traveled to Pierre where the water slide at the YMCA pool is always a hit.

2012 Chamberlain Cubs at State A's.
Great job boys!

Since our high school students attend the public school, they continued with the usual classes. Friday was a day off for them as the Chamberlain boys played in the state basketball tournament at Sioux Falls. The Cubs finished 7th, and their one victory avenged an earlier loss to our rivals from Winner.

Today was a landmark day for several of our high school students. Six have been preparing to receive the sacrament of confirmation, and Bishop Swain from Sioux Falls was in our area. Erica and Tia, sophomore twins, are from Fort Thompson, which is 25 miles north of us along the Missouri River. They joined the parishioners there and had lots of family to celebrate with them. Their roommates from the Crane Home also joined for support. The twins both took the same confirmation name – Kateri – in honor of the Mohawk/Algonquin woman who will officially become canonized in October. I am a former pastor of Fort Thompson, and know most of the folks there. I grinned however, when one newer parishioner came up to me before mass and asked how my recent trip to Rome was. I’ve never been to Rome – she thought I was the bishop!

Chris, at one of his last plays.

After Fort Thompson, I came back to Chamberlain, where three of our high school boys, William, Chris and Jacob joined their high school classmates for confirmation downtown at St. James. I noticed Chris took the name of a Saint that I’m not very familiar with – Genesius. When asked about it he said that Genesius is the patron of actors. Chris has relished taking part in the highschool theater department and definitely has caught the acting bug. Several children of our staff members were also confirmed, and I enjoyed wandering the tables to say hello and meet extended  family at the tasty dinner the parish put on for everyone afterward.

One more high school girl, Trinity, is prepared for confirmation, but will wait until May and receive the sacrament at her home parish, Isaac Jogues in Rapid City when the bishop visits.

“Bishop, can I see your bling-bling?”

Bishop Robert Gruss at St. Joseph's Indian School.
Kathleen, Bishop Robert Gruss and Fr. Steve examining a science experiment.

Rapid City Bishop Robert Gruss, who was just ordained Bishop six months ago, visited us today for the first time. While we are located in the Sioux Falls Diocese, more of our students are actually from West of the Missouri River and in his diocese. As he travels, and people hear he works in South Dakota, countless people have asked him if he knows St. Joseph Indian School, and he was very interested in discovering more about our school and programs. I accompanied him for almost five hours and enjoyed the company of a kind and faith filled shepherd.

I gave the lengthy, deluxe campus tour. In the Akta Lakota Museum, Vickie shared how we provide a place for visitors to learn about the history and culture of the Lakota (Sioux) people. Frank, our 6th– 8th grade residential coordinator gave the Bishop a tour of the Rooney Home and explained everything from student chores and laundry schedules, to security measures in the homes, to our four tiered phase system, where students can earn more privileges as they make progress on their personal goals.

We stopped at the Health Center where Nancy, Ronda and Connie look after the health care needs of our students.

Fr. Anthony put together a school wide prayer service. The Bishop told our Native American students about his growing up years, and reminded them that God has a plan for each of them. He used the image of a jigsaw puzzle where we don’t see the big picture until its complete – but prayer helps us to see God’s hand in all things as we grow.

Our Chalk Hills Singers drum group sang a honor song, and our Powwow Royalty presented him with a picture of our student body and a snow globe replica of our Lady of the Sioux Chapel.

Bishop Robert Gruss showing the Lakota (Sioux) student's his "bling-bling".
The Native American student's admiring the Bishop's "bling-bling".

While we were shaking hands with the students outside of chapel, the line that made me laugh the most was when one of our students saw the golden chain connected to the Bishop’s pectoral cross inside his shirt pocket.

“Can I see your bling-bling?” he asked!

We sat with a group of 5th grade girls in the dining room for lunch. That crew is usually very talkative, but it took them a little while before overcoming shyness around a stranger and eventually opened up.

Julie gathered four of our family service counselors who talked about the backgrounds of our American Indian students and their families and issues they face. Bishop Gruss asked lots of good questions to help him understand the people he is serving.

Kathleen, our principle, led us on a tour of the school. Brock demonstrated one of our smart blackboards. The third graders in Native American Studies class demonstrated both traditional powwow and hoop dancing. Bishop Gruss let out a big laugh when one of the songs the kids danced to was “Old Macdonald” sung in 49er powwow style.

We ended the day in the Development Office, for a tour of the work our staff does there, and some coffee and cookies. Next time someone asks the Bishop if he knows St. Joseph’s Indian School, he’ll have some good memories and a good sense of what we’re all about.

Day one of St. Joseph’s 35th annual powwow

In the morning, our visitors had their choice of several cultural workshops. Some folks made their own dreamcatchers, others learned drum songs or played traditional Lakota (Sioux) games. Our child service staff had panel discussions to answer questions about the work with our students. Planned Giving answered questions about our development efforts.

This afternoon, St. Joseph’s Indian School was open for tours and groups of two or three students from our American Indian leadership committee led a small group of donors throughout the building. All of the classrooms were open with a few extra chairs off to the side, for people to observe and interact. People told me they were impressed not just by what was in the classrooms, but also our well-developed and comprehensive philosophy of child care.

At three o’clock we gathered in the Rec  Center to announce St. Joseph’s Indian School’s Royalty for the 2011 powwow. Congratulations to Erin, Irene, Rebecca, Mary and Caden who will represent our school at the powwow and at cultural events throughout the coming year!

Jackie Bird offered a memorable performance of song, dance and sharing of tradition. She is also an accomplished designer of shawls and dance regalia. She enlisted the help of our girls to walk into the center of the circle wearing some of those creations, teaching about Lakota (Sioux) understanding of the significance of the directions, and our relationship with our winged and some of the hoofed relatives in creation.

Tonight, we held a banquet for our donors at Cedar Shores Convention Center, just across the Missouri River in Oacoma. The businesses we do business with use this occasion to give something back, and paid for the entire meal.  Our St. Joseph’s Chalk Hills Singers Drum Group set the pace for a few of our dancers, and an explanation was given about different powwow regalia and dance styles. A little introduction helps first time powwow goers to understand what they are seeing. One lucky guest won a beautifully sewn star quilt as a door prize. I enjoyed walking from table to table. I just wish I had more time to spend with each visitor.