MHA Member Takes the Stage at Recovery Reinvented

Story and Photos by Shelbe Bearstail

The fifth annual Recovery Reinvented was held on October 25th in Bismarck, ND. The day-long event is hosted by Governor Doug Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Burgum and its mission is to educate the state on addiction and also help get rid of the negative stigma associated with it. This year’s event was featured online as well as in person. It featured national experts in addiction as well as North Dakota citizens who are in recovery. Many of MHA’s members attended, along with a select few who took the stage and were honored by First Lady Kathryn Burgum.

The event started at 9:30 AM at the Bismarck Civic Center. It was free and open to the public. Experts headlined the events throughout the day. Some of the main speakers were Dr. Joseph Lee, President and CEO of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation; Valerie Earnshaw, a psychologist who specializes in stigma and health at the University of Delaware; Laurie Johnson-Wade, Co-founder of Lost Dreams Awakening Recovery Community Organization in Pennsylvania. 

Samantha Lindgren, a MHA tribal member, was awarded the opportunity to take the stage and share briefly on her experience in battling and overcoming addiction. Sam, who currently works in Bismarck at MHA’s Sage Coulee Outreach and Wellness Center, has over 46 months in active recovery from drugs and alcohol. First Lady Kathryn Burgum chose Sam, among a handful of other select few to talk about their recovery.

Everyone’s recovery is different. Another North Dakota tribal member who was awarded on stage was Bill Brien from the Turtle Mountains. Bill is an artist, and designed all the award art for the recipients of Recovery Reinvented.

For the community, it was a day of education and fellowship. First Lady Kathryn Burgum is very active in raising awareness on addiction, as she herself is in recovery. She has paid many visits to MHA Nation to connect and learn more about recovery on our reservation. MHA has been at the forefront for recovery developments in Indian Country in North Dakota. Good Road Recovery Center is fully operational in Bismarck for men and women. There is also a new sober living facility that recently opened up in Twin Buttes as well.

Recovery is growing more and more. It seems that each year, there are more attendees at Recovery Reinvented. The annual event has served its purpose quite well in raising awareness, educating, and helping to end the stigma associated with addiction, Governor and First Lady Burgum play a significant role in the fight against addiction with the state of North Dakota. The recovery community, along with the rest of the state looks forward to next year’s event.