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About Us

Our Story

In the 1940’s, Father Leibler, an Episcopal priest at St. Christopher’s Mission outside Bluff, Utah, began a program of gathering Christmas presents and gifts of food for the Utah Navajo. Even though this ended in the 1960’s, the feeling of community and joy engendered through this program continued to live in the memories of the locals. Kenneth Maryboy, a local Navajo, reinstituted this program in the 1980’s. By the mid-1990’s additional volunteers helped add more programs and by the early 2000’s this had grown into what Navajo Santa is today.

Our Mission

Ya’at’eeh Keshmish, a non-profit organization known as Navajo Santa, strives to enhance the lives of indigenous peoples. We acknowledge the strengths and the needs of the Navajo people living in and around the Utah Strip of the Navajo Nation through the spirit of giving while fostering trust and respect between cultures.

Volunteer Supported

Since its inception, Navajo Santa has been entirely volunteer-supported. Ninety-eight percent of funds go directly to program support. Year-round we carry out strategic planning, fundraising, promotion, administrative duties, research, community outreach, procurement and distribution of items.

Our Supporters

  • American Express
  • George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation
  • Adcentives West
  • Amazon Smile
  • Archer Mechanical
  • Bureau of Reclamation
  • Engineers Without Borders
  • Eye Care For Kids
  • Ken Garff Automotive
  • Lowell Construction
  • Patterson Dental
  • Peterson Plumbing
  • Phillips Marble Shop
  • Pitney Bowes
  • Ponds Plumbing, Heating & Air
  • Stringham Lumber
  • Sunpro Building Supply
  • Usbourne Books
  • Wasatch Container
  • Xmission Internet
  • Plus, our many individual
    contributors and volunteers.

Board of Trustees

  • Marcia Thompson, Chair
  • Mike Dahl, Vice Chair
  • Debbie Dahl, Treasurer
  • Ann Johnson, Historian
  • Julie Marple, Secretary
  • Marianne Felt, Founding Member
  • Vicky Hoagland
  • Nathan Johnson
  • Patrick Juhlin
  • Eric Kankainen
  • Kathy Kankainen, Founding Member
  • Matt Kankainen
  • John McHugh
  • Kenneth Maryboy, Emeritus
  • Toni Dee, Liaison
  • Randall Dee, Liaison

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