FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Southern Ute Reservation Initiates Stage I Fire Restrictions

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

BIA Fire Office – 970.563.4571

Lindsay Box, PIO – 970.563.2313

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 20, 2020

 

Southern Ute Reservation Initiates Stage I Fire Restrictions

 

 

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – Due to minimal monsoon moisture, 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.

 

  1. AGRICULTURAL BURNING.  Burning of crop land, fields, rangeland, debris burning, slash piles, prescribed burning and weed burning are prohibited.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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, August 21, 2020 and will remain until conditions improve.

 

News Release – SUA Stage I Fire Restrictions 8-21-20

SUIMA Start Date Postponed to August 31, 2020

 

August 14, 2020

To: SUIMA Parents/Guardians and Families

From: SUIT Education Department

Cc: Executive Office and SUIMA School Board

Dear SUIMA Families,

 

While the Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy (SUIMA) Administration and Staff were looking forward to greeting our students next week, the Southern Ute Tribal Council (SUIMA School Board), SUIMA Administration and the Southern Ute Incident Management Team (IMT) have determined it is in the best interest of both students and staff to delay the start of the school year to August 31, 2020 and offer only a remote learning option until the tribal “Stay at Home” Order has been modified and the risk for contracting the coronavirus is dissipated.

 

The results of the Parent/Guardian survey also contributed to the decision to postpone the start of school by one week and limit school options to remote learning only. 71% of parents responded that remote learning was the best option for their family while 23% responded they would prefer the on-campus model. Tribal leadership would like to acknowledge the wishes of the SUIMA families that responded to the survey.

 

If the current “Stay at Home” Order is modified or a “Safer at Home” Order is issued, SUIMA may be permitted to offer an on-campus learning option.  If the decision is made to offer on-campus learning, SUIMA Administration will communicate changes in learning modalities to Parents/Guardians with adequate time to make a change to a student’s learning option. SUIMA will continue comprehensive check-ins with students throughout the remote learning option. Check-ins will include both social-emotional and academic learning and development.

 

The decision to only offer remote learning was not easy; however, the health and safety of SUIMA students and staff is the greatest concern for Tribal Council, SUIMA Administration and the IMT. As schools across the United States have opened classrooms, positive cases of the coronavirus disease have increased. The effects of COVID-19 are unknown at this time, especially in children. Parents/Guardians should feel comfortable sending their student to a safe classroom setting where precautions are in place to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

 

SUIMA will host in-person classroom orientation the week of August 31 through September 4, 2020. The orientation will provide introductions, explain how remote learning will be conducted, provide a demonstration of online learning tools (including log-in instructions), and answer any questions. Chromebooks will be available to Primary and Lower and Upper Elementary students; Parents/Guardians should request a Chromebook during the orientation. SUIMA will use Google Classroom to deliver Remote Learning lessons. Online academic programs such as Freckle and Lexia will be accessible for K-6 grade.

 

SUIMA will continue to work on a schedule for households with multiple students who have a limited number of devices available at the same time. As a friendly reminder, enrolled Southern Ute tribal members can access the Computer Purchase Cost Share program. For more information on the program, please contact Mrs. Ellen Baker at 970.563.0235 or via email at esbaker@southernute-nsn.gov. For students who do not checkout a Chromebook or who do not have the means to learn remotely, SUIMA will prepare hard-copy packets on a weekly basis. Please contact SUIMA Administration if your student will require a hard-copy packet and to receive the packet as part of the pick-up process.

 

Please continue to stay informed with accurate information by going to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html or the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) website at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus. Please follow the Southern Ute Indian Tribe on social media and regularly view the Tribe’s websites to observe the most updated tribal information.

 

We are in this together, and together we can fight COVID-19. Continue to stay home, wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, practice social distancing, wear your face covering when leaving your home for essential activities and stay connected with your loved ones.

 

I hope each and every one of you remain healthy and happy. While this was not the start of the academic year I had hoped for, I would like to wish our students the best wishes for the upcoming school year. I would also like to remind Parents/Guardians to contact your teacher and the SUIMA Administration for resources while you navigate the new role of Parent/Teacher. Thank you for your understanding and patience while we make these necessary changes to protect our students, but most importantly thank you for continuing to see the importance of education and your willingness to step into this uncharted territory.

 

For questions or concerns, I will be available to assist in every way possible.

 

Warmest Regards,

 

Mari Jo Owens,

SUIMA Principal

Office – 970.563.2711

Email – mjowens@southernute-nsn.gov

 

20200819 – SUIMA Aug 31 Start Date

Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy School Reopening

August 14, 2020

To: SUIMA parents, guardians, and families

From: SUIT Education Department

Cc: Executive Office and SUIMA School Board

Dear SUIMA families,

First, and most importantly, I hope you remain in good health and spirits. Thank you for your understanding and patience while the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council (who also serve as the SUIMA School Board) and SUIMA Administration took the utmost caution to make the most informed decision on the upcoming school year. As a reminder the “Stay at Home” Order remains in effect until further notice as does the public health order requiring the use of face coverage.

While the Tribe considers education a necessity, the highest priority is the health of the SUIMA students and staff. In collaboration with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Incident Management Team (IMT) and Tribal Council, we have decided to begin school on August 24, 2020, as scheduled. However, due to the health concerns related to the coronavirus, SUIMA will offer multiple options for students this year.  Students will receive instruction through a Hybrid Learning model, which may include On-Campus Learning, Remote-Learning or a combination of both.  More details on the elected instruction options and the correlation to the tribal “Stay at Home” Order will be made available early next week or during the SUIMA Orientation.

Parents/Guardians will receive communication from their classroom teacher beginning on Monday, August 17, 2020 to confirm an available time for an in-person orientation explaining how SUIMA will deliver academic lessons to students. During the week of August 24-28, 2020, SUIMA will host classroom orientation for families to have the opportunity to meet teachers, observe the precautions set in place, and check out a Chromebook if needed. Families will be scheduled in a staggered manner to maintain COVID safety precautions.

Throughout the Hybrid-Learning time, students will be assessed on their academic performance every 30 days. If students require additional support, SUIMA will contact the Parent/Guardian to develop a plan for academic success which may include a deviation of the hybrid learning model. This may also include scheduled times in which Remote-Learners will come in to take their STAR test. If families find the elected instruction option does not work the family or the student, please contact SUIMA Administration at 970.563.2711. Also, every 30 days, families will be contacted regarding mental and physical health of students.

Meals will be made available to all students – Remote-Learners as well as On-Campus Learners.

SUIMA will use either Google Classroom or Montessori Records Express to deliver Remote Learning lessons. Academic online programs such as Freckle and Lexia will still be accessed for K-6 graders. A demonstration of these programs will be provided during the scheduled orientation throughout the week of August 24-28, 2020. Teachers will cover log-in instructions, navigation through the program, and answer any questions that may arise. Parents/Guardians may also contact the classroom teacher or SUIMA Administration for questions on the online programs throughout the hybrid learning model.

Attendance will be taken daily with both Remote-Learning and On-Campus Learning. SUIMA is currently working to develop a schedule for households with multiple students who have limited number of devices available at the same time.  As a friendly reminder, SUIMA students who are also enrolled Southern Ute tribal members can access the Computer Purchase Cost Share program. For more information on the program, please contact Mrs. Ellen Baker at 970.563.0235 or via email esbaker@southernute-nsn.gov.

The school advises that you stay informed with accurate information by going to the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html or CDPHE website at  https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus. Please also follow the Southern Ute Indian Tribe on social media and regularly view the Tribe’s websites to observe the most updated tribal information.

Please remember that handwashing for 20 seconds is our number one defense.  Eat right, eat healthy, drink plenty of water, exercise and get plenty of rest. Continue to stay home, practice social distancing, and stay connected with your loved ones, friends, and SUIMA educators.

Additional details will be sent out as SUIMA makes necessary adjustments to the Hybrid-Learning model and to maintain safety and success of SUIMA students and families.

Please take care and best wishes for this upcoming school year!  For questions, please contact Mrs. Mari Jo Owens, SUIMA Principal at 970.563.2711 or via email at mjowens@southernute-nsn.gov.

 

Warmest Regards,

Mari Jo Owens,

SUIMA Principal

 

SUIMA School reopen COVID 19 PSA 8-14-2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Southern Ute Reservation Rescinds Stage I & Stage II Fire Restrictions

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

BIA, Southern Ute Agency Fire Management – 970.563.4571

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 28, 2020

 

Southern Ute Reservation Rescinds Stage I & II Fire Restrictions

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – Due to the recent and widespread monsoon moisture, Stage I and Stage II fire restrictions have been rescinded for all trust lands throughout the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.

Fire Restrictions have been in place since early May, 2020. During that time there have been a total of 18 fires on the reservation with the largest being the 220 acre Six Shooter fire.  Southern Ute Agency and Tribal fire personnel have also responded to fires throughout the Durango Zone assisting on numerous fires including the 2,000 acre East Canyon fire near Mancos, CO.

Fire personnel are still responding to lightning caused fires within and bordering the reservation and the fire season is expected to continue through the summer and fall months.

Although the fire danger has diminished, we still ask that everyone on reservation land be cautious with fire this time of year.

If you have any further questions, please contact Southern Ute Agency Fire Management at (970) 563-4571.

The Stage I & Stage II Fire Restrictions will be rescinded at 06:00 AM, July 29, 2020.

 

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News Release – SUA Stage I 2 Fire Restrictions Rescinded 7-29-20

SUIT August Voluntary Drive-thru Viral Testing Event

August Voluntary Drive-thru Viral Testing

August 12-13, 2020 from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Sky Ute Casino Resort Overflow Parking Lot

 

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s most important resource is the enrolled Southern Ute tribal members and without its members the Tribe would not exist. On Wednesday, March 25, 2020 the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council in collaboration with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Incident Management Team issued the “Stay at Home” Order and on Friday, July 17, 2020 required the use of face coverings to  prioritize the health and safety of the Tribal Elders, high-risk and immune-compromised members, youth and the entire tribal membership.

 

At the beginning of the pandemic, the IMT purchased and collected personal protective equipment (PPE), testing kits, and funding to adequately respond to the coronavirus outbreak. The IMT has developed an agreement with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and International Medical Relief to mobilize a team of qualified health professionals with resources, testing kits, and PPE to conduct free, voluntary drive-thru viral testing for enrolled Southern Ute tribal members and immediate family members, tribal caregivers, tribal staff, enrolled members of the Ute Mountain Ute and Ute Indian Tribes, and local community.

 

A viral test will be conducted to determine individuals who are currently infected with the coronavirus. This is very different from the anti-body testing which will not be conducted at this time. As the number of positive cases increase in the neighboring jurisdictions, the viral test will help determine how wide-spread the virus is, identify hot-spots within our community, and aid in the tribal priority of keeping our tribal members safe.  Approximately 2,000 tests will be conducted over a 2-day period. Tests are not mandatory, but voluntary for those who wish to have a test performed. Tribal Members and immediate household members (including non-enrolled tribal members) and enrolled members of both the Ute Mountain Ute and Ute Indian Tribe can elect to have the test performed on either day.

 

Drive-thru testing will be performed over two days, beginning on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. at the Sky Ute Casino Resort overflow parking lot (between the Sky Ute Casino Resort and the TERO building). Tribal Elders and those who identify as high-risk are given priority from 8:00 until 9:00 a.m. on both days. Please see the attached map detailing the testing process, identifying the entrance, testing tents where swabs will be conducted, and exit.

 

In accordance with the tribal public health order requiring the use of face coverings, face masks will be required at the testing site.

 

The first drive-thru testing event held in June provided valuable lessons which have been considered and implemented for this and future testing events. The testing schedule modeled after the Spring and Fall Cleanup was determined unnecessary, therefore it will not be used for this event. The upcoming testing event will prioritize the tribal membership; testing will be available to the tribal membership and their immediate family members, enrolled members of both the Ute Mountain Ute and Ute Indian Tribe as well as tribal caregivers on both days, August 12-13, 2020.

 

Testing for tribal staff will be on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. and testing will be open to the local community on Thursday, August 13, 2020 from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. If you are unable to be tested on the dates identified, please contact the Southern Ute Health Center at 970.563.4581 to determine another day or to arrange a home visit with SUHC staff.

 

Staff will complete the mandatory Testing and Demographics Release form. Individuals will be required to share the required information for the form. Parents and Guardians will be required to provide information required for the Testing and Demographics Release form for any child(ren) to be tested. Tribal Information Services will be confirming enrollment.

 

Tribal Elders and tribal members who are immobilized or unable to drive to the drive-thru testing location may contact the Southern Ute Health Center at 970.563.4581 to arrange for transportation.

 

The result of your COVID-19 test will be communicated to you by phone or email. The time that your result will be available may vary; we do ask for your patience during this busy time. Many laboratories that process COVID-19 tests are overwhelmed leading to some delays in processing. A Southern Ute Health Center staff member will call or email your result. All positive results will be contacted by telephone.  We do ask for your cooperation with assisting us with our contact tracing responsibilities of a positive result.

 

We would like to reiterate that the viral tests are voluntary and available to enrolled Southern Ute tribal members and their immediate family members (including those who are not enrolled), enrolled members of the Ute Mountain Ute and Ute Indian Tribe, tribal caregivers, on both days and tribal staff and community on identified day and times. If you have questions, please contact the Southern Ute Indian Tribe COVID-19 Call Center at 970.563.0214. The Call Center hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M.

 

If you are sick, please self-isolate. If your symptoms begin to worsen, please call your primary healthcare provider or the Southern Ute Health Center at 970.563.4581. Do not arrive at your primary health care provider’s office without calling to notify the professionals of your symptoms.

 

Please continue to practice good hygiene by washing your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, cough and sneeze into the bend of your elbow or in a tissue then throw the tissue away. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects in your home. As a reminder, the Tribal “Stay at Home” Order remains in effect until further notice. Please stay home only leaving for essential activities. When you must leave your home, continue to practice social distancing staying 6 feet away from others. Stay connected with your loved ones and our tribal elders.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Southern Ute Public Health Order requires the use of face coverings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Chairman, Christine Sage – 970.563.0100

SUIT IMT PIO, Ms. Amy Barry – 970.563.2281

 

Southern Ute Public Health Order requires the use of face coverings

 

Southern Ute Indian Reservation –

PUBLIC HEAL TH ORDER

OF THE SOUTHERN UTE INDIAN TRIBE

WHEREAS, authority is vested in the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council by the Constitution adopted by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, and approved November 4, 1936, and amended October 1, 1975, and August 27, 1991, to act for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe; and

 

WHEREAS, under Article VII, Section 1 of the Constitution, “The inherent powers of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, including those set forth in [the Indian Reorganization Act], as amended, shall be exercised by the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council, subject only to limitations imposed by the Constitution and Statutes of the United States, by the regulations of the Department of the Interior and by this constitution.”; and

 

WHEREAS, under Article VII, Section 1 ( e) of the Constitution, “The [T]ribal [C]ouncil may enact ordinances and codes to protect the peace, safety, property, health and general welfare of the members of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe”; and

 

WHEREAS, under Article VII, Section l(n) of the Constitution, Tribal Council has the authority, “To protect and preserve the property, wildlife and natural resources of the [T]ribe, and to regulate the conduct of trade and the use and disposition of tribal property upon the reservation.”; and

 

WHEREAS, in Res. No. 2004-225, the Tribe approved the Southern Ute Community Emergency Operations Plan (“Plan”), the purpose of which is to identify the emergency management process and principles for managing and coordinating the overall response and recovery activities during periods of emergency/disaster resulting from a natural-or human-caused hazard; and

 

WHEREAS, Section IV (B) of the Plan identifies Emergency Management operational phases, including the Response Phase, which may include incident mitigation activities designed to limit the loss of life, personal injury, property damage, and unfavorable outcomes; and

 

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Plan, Section IV(B)(3), response activities may include ongoing public health and testing processes, immunizations, isolation or quarantine; and

 

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Plan, Section V(F), the Tribal Council’s duties in an emergency or disaster include, among other things, signing a resolution declaring an emergency or disaster to protect life and preserve property and the environment by ensuring prevention, preparation, and response measures are in place; and

 

WHEREAS, under the Plan, Section V (F), the Tribal Council’s duties in an emergency or disaster include making emergency decisions regarding quarantines; and

 

WHEREAS, in Res. No. 2020-025, Tribal Council declared a state of emergency to respond to the spread of the coronavirus, which included, among other things, the state of emergency continuing “until the conclusion of response activities including attendant documentation is complete”; and

 

WHEREAS, in Res. No. 2020-031, Tribal Council approved the Southern Ute Health Center Communicable Disease Response Plan, which allows for, among other things, infection control precautions, including contact, droplet, and airborne precautions; and

 

WHEREAS, cases of coronavirus continue to rise in Colorado and neighboring states; and

 

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) recommends face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain and to prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others; and

 

WHEREAS, based on the danger that the coronavirus continues to pose and the identified cases of the coronavirus in surrounding counties, the Tribal Council finds it in the interests of public health and safety, to require face coverings indoors at all times and outdoors when other social distancing measures are not possible.

 

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT:

 

  1. The Tribal Council hereby finds it essential that the COVID-19 virus be slowed to protect the tribal membership, the community, tribal employees, and especially our most vulnerable people, including heath care providers.

 

  1. The Tribal Council hereby ORDERS:

 

  1. All individuals over two years old must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when entering or moving within any public indoor space.

 

  1. All individuals over two years old must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth in outdoor public spaces when other social distancing measures are not possible.

 

  1. Face covering means a covering made of cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers only the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face, and that fits snugly but comfortably against the side of the face and remains in place without the use of one’s hands. Face coverings include, but are not limited to, bandanas, medical masks, cloth masks, buffs, and gaiters. Face coverings do not include any mask that incorporates a one-way valve (typically a raised plastic cylinder about the size of a quarter on the front or side of the mask) that is designed to facilitate easy exhaling, and such masks are not to be used to comply with this Order. Valves of that type without filters permit droplet release from the mask and can put others nearby at risk.

 

  1. Public indoor space means any enclosed indoor area that is public or privately owned, managed, or operated to which individuals have access by right or by invitation, expressed or implied, and that is accessible to the public, serves as a place of employment, or is an entity providing services. Public indoor space does not mean a person’s residence, including a room in a motel or hotel.

 

  1. Outdoor public space means any outdoor area that is public or privately owned, managed, or operated to which individuals have access by right or by invitation, expressed or implied, and that is accessible to the public.\

 

  1. No owner, operator, or manager of a public indoor space may provide services to individuals or allow an individual to enter or move within that public indoor space, unless the individual is wearing a face covering as required by this Public Health Order.

 

  1. Owners, operators, or managers of public indoor spaces must post signs at entrance(s) instructing individuals of their legal obligation under this Order to wear a face covering when entering or moving within a public indoor space.

 

  1. Individuals two years old and younger are exempt from the requirements of this Order.

 

  1. Individuals performing the following activities are exempt from the requirements of this Order while the activity is being performed:
  1. Individuals who are hearing impaired or otherwise disabled or who are communicating with someone who is hearing impaired or otherwise disabled and where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication;

 

  1. Individuals who are seated at a food service establishment;

 

  • Individuals who are exercising alone or with others from the individual’s household and a face covering would interfere with the activity;

 

  1. Individuals who are receiving a personal service where the temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service;

 

  1. Individuals who enter a business or receive services and are asked to temporarily remove a face covering for identification purposes;

 

  1. Individuals who are actively engaged in a public safety role such as a law enforcement, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel;

 

  • Individuals who are officiating at a religious services, or

 

  • Individuals who are giving such a broadcast or an audience.

 

  1. The Stay at Home Order issued on March 25, 2020 remains in full force and effect as originally promulgated.

 

  1. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Order shall become effective at 11:59 p.m. on July 71, 2020 and will continue until it is no longer necessary as deemed by the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council.

 

{signed by Vice Chairman, Cheryl A. Frost, July 17, 2020}

 

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20200717 – SUIT Face Mask Order