Indigenous Peoples’ Day – Monday October 11, 2021 – Office Closure

Indigenous Peoples' Day

President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has proclaimed October 11, 2021 as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The Southern Ute Tribal Council supports the recognition of the Indigenous Peoples’ Day and to commemorate the first-ever Presidential Proclamation paying tribute to Indigenous People, I approve the closing of the Tribal Administrative Offices of the Permanent Fund on Monday, October 11, 2021.

Tribal Administrative offices of the Permanent Fund will be closed on Monday, October 11, 2021. Regular business hours will resume on Tuesday, October 12, 2021.

Melvin J. Baker, Chairman

Southern Ute Reservation Initiates Stage I Fire Restrictions




Ignacio, CO, June 14, 2021

Due to the current high temperatures, dry fuel conditions and the occurrence of recent wildland fires, Stage I fire restrictions have been implemented for all trust lands throughout the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. Everyone on reservation land is asked to be very cautious and use common sense with fire this time of year.

Stage I Fire Restrictions prohibits acts for the general public, commercial operators and industrial oil and gas operators performing work on the Southern Ute Reservation.

The following acts are prohibited for the general public on reservation lands:

  1. OPEN BURNING. Burning of trash and/or yard waste is prohibited.
  2. AGRICULTURAL BURNING. Burning of crop land, fields, rangeland, debris burning, slash piles, prescribed burning and weed burning are prohibited.
  3. CAMP FIRES. Building, maintaining or using a warming fire or campfire outside of officially designated or developed camp sites is prohibited.  The fire restrictions do not include charcoal fires (in suitable containers) for barbeques or fires for sweat ceremonies, however, such fires are not to be left unattended and are to be fully extinguished after use.
  4. Possession, discharging or use of any type of fireworks is prohibited.

Commercial and Industrial restrictions can be obtained from the BIA Fire Office at 575 County Road 517 or by calling (970) 563-4571.

Anyone violating the provisions of this fire ban may be subject to prosecution outlined in the Southern Ute Indian Criminal Code.

The Restrictions will become effective at 06:00 AM, June 16, 2021 and will remain until conditions improve.

Chairman Baker selects Olguin to lead Southern Ute Permanent Fund

southern ute indian tribe banner


Melvin J. Baker, Chairman – 970.563.0100

Lindsay J. Box – 970.759.1494

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 11, 2021 – 1:00 P.M.

Chairman Baker selects Olguin to lead Southern Ute Permanent Fund

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – Southern Ute Tribal Chairman Melvin J. Baker has appointed James M. “Mike” Olguin as the Executive Officer over the Southern Ute Permanent Fund.

“The role and responsibility of Executive Officer is vast and requires an individual with exceptional communication, time management, conflict resolution, problem solving skills while also working as a liaison between the tribal membership, tribal departments, and the tribal leadership,” stated Chairman Baker. “As we begin the new year under a new Chairman and Vice Chairman, I also wanted to begin with sharing my appointment of a new Executive Officer. It is important to me to take the necessary time to select the right individual for this role.”

The prominent position provides administrative support and guidance to Tribal Departments in accordance with Tribal Policies and Procedures and legal requirements as delegated by the Tribal Chairman; ensuring that the tribal membership receive quality services in an equitable manner and within established program guidelines and approved budgetary limitations. The office must also work to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the Department plans and programs to ensure that they are achieving the purpose for which they were intended.

Olguin enters the office with a large amount of experience. He served on Tribal Council a total of 9 years, including three years as Vice Chairman and two years as Treasurer, and has served twice as Executive Officer under Chairman Leonard C. Burch and Chairman Clement J. Frost.

“I take this appointment with great honor and humbleness with a clear drive and motivation to serve the people of our tribe in administering and managing the affairs of the Permanent Fund to the level of expectations of the Chairman, and Tribal Council, utilizing the work of the professional staff and their charge in carrying out the duties that serve the membership. It is my intent to ensure we have an administration that is progressive yet accountable in its day to day functions and tasks. I look forward to the challenges but know there are a lot of hard-working teams that will assist me in carrying out my duties,” stated Olguin.

Olguin has also worked as the Vice President of Regulatory Management for Sky Ute Sand and Gravel, Director of Natural Resources, and Supervisor of Wildlife Conservation Office. Olguin also brings a plethora of experience from serving on the following tribal committees: Growth Fund Management Committee, Red Cedar Gathering Company Management Committee, Permanent Fund Budget Committee, Southern Ute Indian Tribe Audit Committee, Growth Fund Tribal Member Employment Advisory Committee, and Permanent Fund Credit Committee among others.

“I believe Mr. Olguin will work alongside Tribal Council and my office in the best interests of the tribal membership and the tribal organization. His experience makes him an ideal candidate for the role as Executive Officer and provides him with both the knowledge and ability to implement my vision of progress,” expressed Chairman Baker. “I would also like to thank Mrs. Barbara Scott-Rarick and her commitment to a smooth transition as well as an extension of her appointment while I pursued a successor.”

Chairman Baker will appoint a second Executive Officer in the coming weeks.

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Southern Ute Indian Tribe COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance

As we near the holiday season and witness a new year on the horizon, we are met with continue uncertainty about our future. We have been center stage to an unprecedented viral pandemic, one that has not been seen in over one hundred years. We have seen, and some have experienced, tragic illness and loss throughout our community. As the year draws to a close, two biotech companies have developed and launched a vaccine against the virus, brining much needed hope.

Both Pfizer and Moderna have been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). An EUA provided by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows the use of a new medical product during the time of a public health emergency. Both vaccines developed by two separate biotech companies have proven to be highly efficacious (both over 90%).

Please read the information below to learn about both vaccines and the distribution schedule.

For more information, please contact the Southern Ute Health Center at 970.563.4581 or the Southern Ute COVID-19 Call Center at 970.563.0214.

Designed & Published by Lindsay J. Box

Tribal Member COVID-19 Vaccine Survey

The Southern Ute Incident Management Team and Tribal Health Department would like to solicit participation in the Tribal Member COVID-19 Vaccine Survey to determine the level of participation of the membership as well as the questions and concerns that might exist.

The survey collection will begin on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 and conclude on Friday, January 23, 2021. Tribal Members can participate in the survey in the following ways.

𝟭. 𝗩𝗶𝗮 𝗦𝘂𝗿𝘃𝗲𝘆 𝗠𝗼𝗻𝗸𝗲𝘆 – a link to the Survey Monkey can be found on the tribal social media, Tribal Member Portal, and on Southern Ute Drum website.

𝟮. 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵 𝗖𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗖𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿 (𝟵𝟳𝟬.𝟱𝟲𝟯.𝟬𝟮𝟭𝟰) – share responses directly with Call Center staff who will collect your survey results. Membership can also request a hard copy survey to be mailed via the Call Center.

𝟯. 𝗧𝗿𝗶𝗯𝗮𝗹 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗰𝗶𝗹 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗟𝗶𝗻𝗲 (𝟵𝟳𝟬.𝟱𝟲𝟯.𝟰𝟳𝟬𝟱 𝗲𝘅𝘁. 𝟳𝟵𝟬𝟮) – Please leave your responses in numerical order. ⁣

For questions or for more information, please contact Ms. Lindsay J. Box, Tribal Council Communication Specialist at 970.563.2313 or via email at

vaccine survey town hall

𝗩𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗧𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗛𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗦𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗻 𝗨𝘁𝗲 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵 𝗖𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝗲𝗳 𝗠𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗢𝗳𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗲𝗿, 𝗗𝗿. 𝗥𝗶𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝗞𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗿

Dr. Richard Keller will host a virtual town hall for the tribal membership to share information and participate in a Q&A on the COVID-19 vaccines that will be available to the tribal membership and patients of the Southern Ute Health Center (SUHC).

𝗝𝗮𝗻𝘂𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝟮𝟳 & 𝟮𝟴, 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟭

𝟱:𝟯𝟬 𝘂𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗹 𝟲:𝟯𝟬 𝗽.𝗺.

𝗪𝗲𝗯-𝗘𝘅 𝗘𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗮𝗹𝘀𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗺𝗲𝗱 𝘃𝗶𝗮 𝗙𝗮𝗰𝗲𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸

Photo Credit | Lindsay J. Box

Designed & Produced by Lindsay J. Box

Social Gatherings Protocol

SUIT Public Service Announcement


A COVID-19 outbreak could last for a long time. Depending on the severity of the outbreak, public health officials have recommended community action designed to limit exposure to COVID-19. The Southern Ute Incident Management Team is ordering postponement or cancellation of large events with more than 250 people within the boundaries of the Southern Ute Reservation. This is for the safety and well-being of your event staff, participants, and the community.

Social distancing measures are taken to restrict when and where people can gather to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. Social distancing measures include limiting large groups of people coming together, closing buildings and canceling events. Recommendations have been made by the CDC, to avoid sporting events, community festivals/gatherings, and concerts at this time. Recommendations to change your daily habits such as shopping off peak hours are encouraged along with taking advantage of delivery or pick up services with retailers.

SUIT Travel Updates 3/13/2020

SUIT Public Service Announcement

As the Nation, the State of Colorado, and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe continue to assess the number of positive cases of COVID-19, the Southern Ute Tribal government is continuing to restrict all employee business travel for all business and governmental entities.

Tribal employees returning from personal travel who have any reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 or who have symptoms of respiratory illness must self-report to their immediate supervisor by telephone at the start of their next shift or sooner if at all possible.

Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Permanent Fund Human Resources Department has been in collaboration with the Incident Command Team and developed a flowchart as attached to assist and clarify any concerns or questions related to travel at this current time.

The current directives, being issued by the Southern Ute Tribe’s COVID 19 Incident Command Team are designed to protect the elderly, those who are classified in the high-risk population for susceptibility, the tribal community and to maintain continuity of operations for our tribal government. We all share those responsibilities equally, and ask your cooperation, support and assistance in making these protective measures successful.

Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, Tribal staff who may have medical questions or need clarification on symptomatic concerns can call the Southern Ute Health Center (970) 563-2362. For tribal members who may have medical questions or need clarification on symptomatic concerns following the return from traveling to exposed areas can call the Southern Ute Health Center at (970) 563-2363.

If further clarification is needed for staff regarding the travel stipulations, business restrictions, and/or return to work protocol, staff will directed to contact Mr. Don Brockus, Risk Manager, for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe at (970) 563-2449 or via email at

SUIT Public Service Announcement – How to help limit spread of COVID-19

SUIT Public Service Announcement

March 11, 2020

As the number of positive cases around the Nation and the State of Colorado continues to grow, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, the State of Colorado, and local public health agencies are working to limit and slow the potential spread of this disease, and all Coloradans can help. We advise you to stay informed with reliable sources of information and take everyday actions to protect yourself and share accurate information with family, neighbors, friends and co-workers, especially those who may have difficulty receiving or understanding the information. The following information is recommended protocol by the CDC as stated:

Promote a household plan of action such as the following:

  • Talk with the people who need to be included in your plan.
  • Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications
  • Get to know your neighbors.
  • Identify aid organizations in your community.
  • Create an emergency contact list.

Promote good personal hygiene and health habits for home-based action such as the following:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you have the following symptoms: fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles) using a regular household detergent and water.
    • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent and water prior to disinfection. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection of products
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy.  Learn about the emergency operations plan at your child’s school or childcare facility.  Plan for potential changes at your workplace.  Remain calm and prepared.

How COVID-19 spreads:

The disease most likely ​spreads the same way as similar respiratory illnesses.

  • Person-to-person contact:
    • To become sick, you have to be exposed to the virus. CDC defines exposure as being within 6 feet (2 meters) of someone with a confirmed infection for a prolonged period of time.
  • Exposure can occur through respiratory droplets — when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how flu and other respiratory viruses spread.
  • Infected surfaces or objects:
    • It may be possible to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or possibly your eyes.

For these reasons, people at increased risk of infection are:

  • People who have been to areas where widespread community transmission is occurring.
  • People who had direct close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
  • Illness can be severe and require hospitalization, but most individuals recover by resting, drinking plenty of liquids, and taking pain and fever-reducing medications.

If you are sick:

  • It is important to call ahead before going to see a doctor or emergency room to prevent the spread of illness. Tell them your symptoms and if you suspect you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 or had recent travel to a place that is experiencing community spread.

The following resources are being provided as followed:

  • SUHC 970-563-4581 Monday-Friday 7:30am-5:30pm. If you have questions or concerns after hours, you can call the same number and the answering service will assist you. If this is an emergency, call 911.
  • Mercy Medical Center’s Emergency Room is requesting that patients who believe that they may have COVID-19, should call the emergency room directly at 970-764-2100.
  • State public health web page:
  • Facebook ( )
  • Twitter ( @CDPHE )
  • CDC web page:
  • CO-HELP is Colorado’s call line for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). People who have general questions about COVID-19 can call CO HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911, for answers in many languages, or email them at for answers in English.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, please contact your primary care provider or call the Southern Ute Health Center at 563-4581 to speak with a Health Care Professional.