Southern Ute Environmental Programs Department Issues Air Quality Alert

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Environmental Programs Department operates three air quality stations on the Reservation and maintains a website that provides real-time air pollutant and EPA Air Quality Index (AQI) health alerts from data collected at these stations. Smoke from wildfires can cause unhealthy levels of fine particulate matter (PM) in the air.
Particulate matter is continuously measured at the Ute 3 monitoring station near Bondad Hill and the Ute 1 monitoring station in Ignacio.

As of Wednesday, 4/24/2024, 7:00am, the Ute 1 station is currently reading high PM concentrations with a corresponding AQI of Unhealthy. People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children avoid limit prolonged or heavy exertion. The general public should limit prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.

To view the ambient monitoring program website, and for more information about how to understand the AQI forecast, follow the links below:

Southern Ute Indian Tribe Ambient Monitoring Program Website
EPA Air Quality Index Information Website
Wildfire Smoke Resources to Protect Your Health | US EPA

EPA Air Now Article – How Smoke From Fires Can Affect Your Health

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT EPD, Air Quality – 970.563.2214

 

The Southern Ute Lands Division advertises (2) 45-day Posting for Assignments

The Southern Ute Lands Division is currently advertising two, 45-day notice of availability of tribal land for assignment.

If you are a tribal member and want to confirm your interest in an assignment, you can submit a card along with an application and a 5-year farm plan. If you have any comments or objections about the assignment, you can submit them as well. You can either mail, email, or deliver in person your submission to the Department of Natural Resources – Lands Division at PO Box 737, Ignacio, CO 81137, or contact us at 970-563-0126.

If you are a tribal member and want to confirm your interest in an assignment or lease, you can submit a card, an application, and a Homesite Development Plan. If you have any comments or objections about the assignment, you can submit them as well. You can either mail, email, or deliver in person your submission to the Department of Natural Resources – Lands Division at PO Box 737, Ignacio, CO 81137, or contact us at 970-563-0126.
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Southern Ute tribal member Tanisha Figueroa named the 2024 SUIT Fair and Rodeo Logo Contest Winner

The Southern Ute Cultural Preservation Department is excited to announce Passing Down Traditions by Tanisha Figueroa as the winner of the 102nd Annual Southern Ute Tribal Fair and Rodeo logo contest. Thank you to all those who voted at General Meeting, and congratulations to Ms. Figueroa. For questions, please contact Sherisa Valdez at 970-563-2971.

SUIT and the State of CO to hold Environmental Commission Meeting

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe/State of Colorado Environmental Commission (Commission) will meet on Wednesday, April 24, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Justice & Regulatory Administration Building- EPD Large Conference Room located at 71 Mike Frost Way, Ignacio, Colorado 81137. The agenda will include Call to Order/Introductions, New Business, Tribal Air Quality Program Updates, Tribal Air Initiatives, CDPHE Updates, Open Discussion/Questions and Public Comment, and Schedule Next Commission Meeting. For more information on the meeting, how to attend virtually, or to obtain a copy of the meeting agenda please contact Mr. Michael Kirsch, Air Quality Scientist II – Planning, at (970) 563-2258 or visit the Commission website at: https://www.southernute-nsn.gov/government/departments/epd/air-quality/env-commission/

Bonfire Field Services Vacancy: Apprentice Technician

Bonfire Field Services is hiring a Field Services Apprentice technician.  The employee will receive a variety of training from multiple disciplines within Bonfire. The Field Services Apprentice will learn from and take directions from technicians, engineers, and other key disciplines throughout the process. This is a 2-year apprenticeship with eligible quarterly pay increases.

Native American Preference will be applied.

How to apply: Email a resume and cover letter to tonia.martinez@bonfireig.com

You may also contact TERO for more information.

lsanchez@southernute-nsn.gov

970-563-2294

For Immediate Release: Preserving Tribal Sovereignty: Vice Chairman Cloud Testifies on Land Annexation 04/17/2024

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Melvin J. Baker, Chairman – 970.563.2320

Summer Begay, Communication Specialist– 970.563.2313

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 17, 2024

Preserving Tribal Sovereignty: Vice Chairman Cloud Testifies on Land Annexation

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – Vice Chairman Lorelei Cloud testified before the Colorado Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee at the State Capitol in Denver this afternoon. Cloud urged the Committee to support Senate Bill 24-193: Protect Tribal Lands from Unauthorized Annexation. This critical legislation is in response to the City of Durango’s attempt to seize Reservation land from the Southern Ute Indian Tribe for the economic benefit of the City.

The Utes are the oldest continuous inhabitants of what is now the State of Colorado. The Utes are resilient and have endured assimilation, relocation, and seizure of their land and culture for far too long. The Reservation was established by successive treaties and was to be “set apart for the absolute and undisturbed use and occupation of the [Utes]” and “no persons . . . shall ever be permitted to pass over, settle upon, or reside” on those lands. The City’s actions take direct aim at these promises.

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe, a strong neighbor, proven business partner, and significant investor in the local economy, will fiercely defend its land status, sovereignty, self-determination, and cultural heritage. Vice Chairman Cloud cautioned that annexation will further complicate matters such as law enforcement, air and water quality, and environmental regulation, stating, “complexities with the federal, state, and local jurisdiction make it difficult. Adding another layer – especially a city with no interest in cooperation and a history of failing to consider the Tribe at all – only puts my people and culture at greater risk. This is unacceptable”.

Senate Bill 24-193 offers a vital safeguard for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s land and future. Respecting the Tribe’s sovereignty and culture is not just a matter of honoring past treaties, but a step towards a more collaborative relationship. The Tribe stands ready to work with the State to find solutions, but the City of Durango’s actions threaten to unravel years of progress. By supporting this legislation, Colorado can ensure a future built on mutual respect and understanding.

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Photo Credit: Senator Jessie Danielson

CO Indigenous Needs Assessment Community Survey

The Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs and the Colorado Department of Education are partnering with Education Northwest, a research organization, to conduct a needs assessment on how Colorado districts and schools support Indigenous students.  The Southern Ute community is invited to share feedback on the priorities, needs, and concerns about Indigenous education in Colorado.

Your community’s insights are important to helping the Colorado Department of Education accurately capture the needs and hopes for Indigenous education in the state. Feedback will help improve services to Indigenous students in the future.

The community survey should only take about 15 minutes to complete.  Names will not appear on any reports about the project, and no one at the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs or the Colorado Department of Education will know individual response to the survey. The survey is open until Friday, May 10. 

Please use the link below to access the survey.

https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/7780550/CO-Indigenous-Needs-Assessment-Community-Survey

-Summer Begay, Communication Specialist.

For Immediate Release: For Our Children’s Future: Vice Chairman Cloud supports SCR24-001 04/16/2024

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Melvin J. Baker, Chairman – 970.563.2320
Summer Begay, Communication Specialist– 970.563.2313

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 16, 2024

For Our Children’s Future: Vice Chairman Cloud supports SCR24-001

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – Vice Chairman Lorelei Cloud joined several Colorado Senators and advocates at the State Capitol in Denver this afternoon in support of the Child Sexual Abuse Accountability Amendment (Senate Concurrent Resolution 24-001). If passed, this Amendment would retrospectively permit victims of child sexual assault to make civil claims against an abuser or an institution regardless of how much time has passed.

“Our Ute and Native youth are the heart of our future. As a leader, I believe we must work together to ensure and protect their safety and success,” said Vice Chairman Cloud. For generations, Native communities have faced an epidemic of sexual violence and trauma, starting with children being the most vulnerable targets in the federal boarding schools. Tribal Courts, due to limitations in authority and jurisdiction, are unable to prosecute non-Native perpetrators. The perpetrators are often in positions of authority such as government officials, trustees, teachers, and religious leaders.

The cycle of trauma persists, silencing many young victims. Fear, intimidation, and the struggle to articulate their experiences due to a developing emotional vocabulary prevent them from seeking justice and beginning their healing journey. According to the National Institute of Justice, Native youth experience violence at rates higher than any other racial group in the United States, with 56.4 percent reporting experiencing sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking in their lifetime.

Legislation like SCR24-001 offers a critical first step. By holding perpetrators accountable, it paves the way for healing and a future where survivors can truly thrive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PC: David Smith

-Summer Begay, Communication Specialist.