NEW TOWN Northern Star, a gift shop in New Town, opened Monday under ownership of the Three Affiliated Tribes.
This is the first time in many years that the tribe has owned a retail store in New Town, said Vonnie Alberts, press secretary for the Three Affiliated Tribes.
Alberts said the store was purchased by the tribal business council as a business investment to promote further economic development and American Indian arts and crafts.
The sign outside still has the old name of the retail store but it will be replaced with the new Northern Star Gift Shop name. The store is located along N.D. Highway 23 on the east side of New Town.
The store is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
However, this Saturday will be a special day when Northern Star will participate in the City of New Town's
annual Walk-About and Parade of Lights and the store will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Ramona Woods of Parshall is store manager. Store employees are Iris Jackson and Stacey Fox, both New Town.
The store will retain many of the same items it previously sold but plans to add other products.
Items by two local artists are being sold in the store: turquoise and silver jewelry by Merlein Sorensen of Halliday, who owns Rocky Top Creations, and beadwork by April Fox of Mandaree.
The store was previously owned by Greg and Stacy Mortensen.
The store's name will be slightly different than the former name instead of Northern Starr Quality Oak & Gifts, it now is Northern Star Gift Shop.
Scott Eagle, New Town-Little Shell representative to the business council and chairman of tribal Economic Development Committee, said the plan is for Northern Star to eventually become a business independent of the tribe.
Currently, the store is a business entity of the Economic Development Committee, which means its operational funding comes from the tribe.