Happy Birthday Darrel Fassett (DHS ’47): Boynton Beach, FL
Happy Birthday Don Boardman (DHS ’60): Bottineau, ND
Published in the Turtle Mountain Times
By Deborah Azure LaVallie (’67): Dunseith. ND

Santa Clause comes to Dunseith, ND

By Deborah LaVallie

Santa Clause will be coming to Dunseith, as part of the First Annual Dunseith Winterfest, Saturday, December 3.In light of the recent tragedies, various people in the Community thought that this would be a perfect time for the people to come together to bring a little “hope” to the children, at a time when the community needs to “heal”.Santa will be giving out candy and fruit at 1 PM at the Turtle Mountain Outreach and the Turtle Mountain Youth Council offices near the Turtle Mountain Tribal Arts Gallery.Coordinator, Claudette Counts was also instrumental in recruiting a Santa (Don Bercier) and Mrs. Santa, after a relentless search.There will be a Merchandise Bingo at the Dunseith City Hall at 1 PM that day, with Kim Marion, of the Nursing Home Auxilary coordinating it.Proceeds from this event will go to the Dunseith Nursing Home for Christmas gifts for the residents there.There will also be an Arts and Crafts Sale and Indian Taco Sale at the Peace Lutheran Church from 9 AM to 5 PM that will provide a”marketplace” for local “crafters” and entrepreneurs.

It’s only through the efforts of people like Mayor Jessie Marion and his wife Kim, Wayne Barbot, President of the Dunseith Commercial Club, who donated $,1000 of candy, and, Claudette Counts, Coordinator of Turtle Mountain Outreach, whose program bought the oranges and apples and is also coordinating the Santa event, and, promoting the event, who made this First Annual Winterfest a reality.The idea of an annual Winterfest came about as a way to provide a little economic stimulus to this depressed community, (according to the 2000 Census, the East Dunseith Housing is one of the poorest communities in the Nation), but, the major focus was to get Santa to visit here for the children, during a time when many of our children go “without”.

This wonderful story of how Santa came to Dunseith reminds me of the Author Charles Dickens who wrote, “A Christmas Carol”, “David Copperfield”, “A Tale of Two Cities”, and, so many more.Through his stories, documenting the harsh, brutal conditions of 19th Century England, where child enslavement was common, and, his efforts at “social reform”, he changed the lives of millions of brutalized children.It’s only through caring community members and volunteers bringing “people” together who can make “real” change in an impoverished, depressed community. Christmas is for the Children…and, bringing a little “hope” to the children of the Dunseith community could possibly, in some way make their lives better, even for that one moment when Santa Clause gives them a treat.Folks, I really do BELIEVE.



Michael Kenny and I were the only guys at the Farewell gathering.
I’d say we were lucky guys in the company of all these great women.