Republic Services Updates Holiday Schedule for Trash Services

Good Morning & Happy Holidays.

Republic Services appreciates the continued partnership between our organization and the SUIT.

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, we wanted to inform you of our holiday schedule to ensure a seamless waste collection service for the Tribe.

Republic Services will be closed on Thursday, November 23rd, 2023, in observance of Thanksgiving Day.

As a result, there will be a one-day delay in our solid waste collection services for the remainder of the week.

Looking ahead to the Christmas and New Year holidays, please be advised that Republic Services will be closed on December 25th, 2023, and January 1st, 2024, respectively. Similar to Thanksgiving, there will be a one-day delay in waste collection services on these dates.

If you have any specific concerns or require further clarification, feel free to reach out to me directly at 505-419-3842.

We value our partnership with the Tribe, and your understanding during these holiday closures is greatly appreciated.

Wishing you and your team a wonderful holiday season.


JC Velasquez

Operations Manager Southern CO/NM

Bloomfield Hauling | Durango Transfer | Bondad Landfill

203 Idaho

Bloomfield, NM 87413


o  505.793.8435


The Southern Ute Indian Tribe/State of Colorado Environmental Commission To Meet

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe/State of Colorado Environmental Commission (Commission) will meet on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, 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 at (970) 563-2258 or visit the Commission website at:….

Michael J. Kirsch

Air Quality Scientist II – Planner

Environmental Programs Department

Southern Ute Indian Tribe

Phone: (970) 563-2258

Growth Fund Announces Arrowhead Propane as Strategic Supplier

Melvin J. Baker, Chairman – 970.563.2320
Summer Begay, Communication Specialist– 970.563.2313
Growth Fund Announces Arrowhead Propane as Strategic Supplier
Southern Ute Indian Reservation – In early 2023, the Southern Ute Tribal Council became aware of instances where propane fuel suppliers had failed to make timely deliveries, leaving Tribal Members without reliable and consistent heat during the winter months, in some cases for extended periods of time. Tribal Council requested the Growth Fund’s assistance to evaluate and propose options for improved reliability of propane delivery to Tribal Members.
To assess Tribal Members’ experiences, the Growth Fund partnered with Tribal Information Services to conduct a survey, which was released in July 2023 on the Tribal Member Portal and paper surveys were mailed to Tribal elders for inclusion of all voices.
The results of the survey indicated a significant difference between the suppliers in the area. The overall conclusion is that four of the six suppliers were the most prominent. Two national suppliers, which provide service to many survey respondents, were given an average customer satisfaction rating, while two of regional suppliers scored very high in customer satisfaction. After further consultation, one highly rated regional supplier offered the Tribe and its Members a beneficial rate without additional conditions. The survey summary data is available on the Tribal Member Portal.
Concurrently with the Tribal Member survey, the Growth Fund completed an assessment of area suppliers as well as evaluated developing its own propane supply company. However, the challenges associated with market pricing, cost, safety, infrastructure, and timing on execution outweighed the potential benefits and could result in higher costs to Tribal Members. Following a comprehensive review of the survey and assessment results, the Growth Fund Management Committee recommended that Tribal Council name Arrowhead Propane as a strategic supplier.
Arrowhead Propane will extend favorable pricing on both tank rental and propane fuel to enrolled Tribal Members. Tribal Council recommends Tribal Members choose a propane supplier that meets their own needs, and there is no requirement to use the strategic supplier or change suppliers.
“Safety is our greatest consideration and elimination of supply disruption is our top priority,” said Chairman Melvin J. Baker. “Arrowhead’s outstanding customer service ratings and favorable pricing will bring improved service and savings to our Membership. However, this is an individual choice, and only an option, we encourage Tribal Members to make the decision that is right for them and their home.”
Mike Helms, General Manager of Arrowhead Propane, commented, “Arrowhead Propane is pleased to offer beneficial pricing to Southern Ute Tribal Members. We are proud of the service we provide and enjoy working with several members of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe today. Safety is our first priority, but excellent customer service is a close second, and Arrowhead has equipment and capacity to meet the needs of new Southern Ute customers.”
Running out of propane during cold winter months can create potentially dangerous situations, so it is imperative to communicate regularly with your propane supplier for options to best suit your heating needs. For additional information please contact, Mr. Meade Harbison with the Growth Fund Business Development at 970-563-5037. To contact Arrowhead Propane, please find them at or at 970-422-5280.
-Summer Begay, Communications Specialist.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) conducts its Annual Lake Nighthorse Kokanee Salmon Giveaway

With permission from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Animas-La Plata Association, Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) is again conducting its annual Lake Nighthorse kokanee salmon spawning operation. This spawning operation is important for fisheries within the Southwest Region and across the State of Colorado.

CPW wants to let the Southern Ute Tribe and its members know about the spawning and fish giveaways. We are inviting Southern Ute Tribal members to share this fish resource.

Please see the flyer for additional information on the Salmon Giveaway Event.

The SUIT Environmental Programs Department is now accepting applications for the 2024 Cost-share Program (CSP)

The SUIT Environmental Programs Department is now accepting applications for the 2024 Cost-share Program (CSP). The purpose of the CSP is to work cooperatively with landowners to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) on lands within the Reservation. BMPs are designed to improve our rivers, keep our water clean, and protect wildlife habitat. Water quality, fish/wildlife habitat, and recreation opportunities deteriorate when sediment and nutrients flow into our creeks and rivers.

The CSP pays 95% of the cost of selected BMPS and the participant provides 5% cost assistance via monetary or “in-kind” labor/materials.


Contact project coordinator Dylan Ruckel at (970) 563-2295 or for more information.

SUIMA announces Red Ribbon Campaign Event 2023

In collaboration with the DEA, the Southern Ute Department of Education’s Montessori Academy, SUIMA, will kick off the annual Red Ribbon Campaign on October 11, 2023, with the arrival of the Colorado National Guard’s Army helicopter from Gypsum, CO, based out of the Buckley Space Force Base. During October, the DEA will be hosting and participating in Red Ribbon events throughout the country.

Please see the press release for additional information or visit the Red Ribbon Campaign website at:

History Colorado Publicly Releases Federal Indian Boarding School Research Final Report


Melvin J. Baker, Chairman – 970.563.2320

Summer Begay, Communication Specialist– 970.563.2313



History Colorado Publicly Releases Federal Indian Boarding School Research Final Report

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – History Colorado has fulfilled its legislative mandate under House Bill 22-1327 by releasing a comprehensive final report that promotes a greater understanding of the impacts of the Boarding School era in Colorado and investigates the lived experiences of students during this period. The report was prepared in consultation with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Fort Lewis College, and other entities. The final report has been made publicly available on the History Colorado website. Tribal members may also access the report through the Tribal Member Experience.

The report sheds light on the egregious history of Federal Indian Boarding Schools across the United States. This era, unfortunately, saw education being used as a tool to eliminate traditional Indigenous language, culture, knowledge, and identity, primarily targeting children for assimilation. “This report is a vital step toward acknowledging and understanding the painful legacy of Federal Indian Boarding Schools”, said Chairman Melvin J. Baker.

The report provides an overview of HB 22-1327, a general history of Federal Indian Boarding Schools across the US, a history of schools in Colorado with an emphasis on the Teller Institute and Fort Lewis Indian Boarding School, and the Ute Experience with the Federal Education System. Out of respect for survivors, oral testimonies were not included as their trauma and emotions are not owed to the State of Colorado. This report does affirm the historical strength, resiliency, and love of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and Ute parents to protect Ute children despite coercion, threats, and pressure from the Federal government.

Additionally, the report addresses the sensitive issue of student deaths and potential burial sites, discussing matters of disease, abuse, and the burial of children. Readers are cautioned that this content may be triggering and emotionally disturbing. Southern Ute Behavioral Health is available to provide support at (970)-563-5700. You may also directly contact Dr. Mary Young at 970-563-2370. For media inquiries, please contact Tribal Council Affairs at (970)-563-2313.

The full report can be found here:…

-Summer Begay, Communication Specialist

Governor Polis and Lt. Governor Primavera visit Southern Ute Indian Tribe


Melvin J. Baker, Chairman – 970.563.2320

Summer Begay, Communication Specialist– 970.563.2313




Governor Polis and Lt. Governor Primavera visit Southern Ute Indian Tribe

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – Chairman Baker and Tribal Council, extended a warm welcome to Colorado Governor Jared Polis, Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera, and the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs Director Kathryn Redhorse during a visit to the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.

During a productive meeting, a wide range of critical issues were discussed that hold significant importance for the Tribal community and the State of Colorado. These topics included Broadband, Behavioral Health, Housing, Transit, and legislative concerns, showcasing a commitment to addressing the pressing needs of both parties for the benefit of Tribal and Non-Tribal residents. Informative presentations were provided by the Southern Ute Shared Services and the Tribal Health Department.

Chairman Baker and Governor Polis highlighted the importance of maintaining and strengthening the sovereign-to-sovereign relationship. “This relationship is progressive and has been a model for State and Tribal relationships”, said Chairman Baker. Governor Polis expressed willingness to elevate and collaborate with the Tribe on issues. Both leaders expressed interest in identifying future opportunities for meaningful engagement.

Governor Polis and Lieutenant Governor Primavera toured the SunUte Community Center with Representative Barbara McLachlan. The tour was led by Robin Duffy-Wirth and SunUte staff to showcase the facility, amenities, and its role in fostering physical health, wellness, and community engagement across all ages. Following the tour, Tribal youth shared with the State leadership about their roles in SunUte, educational goals, and future plans.

The commitment to forging a brighter, more prosperous future remains steadfast, as Chairman Baker, Tribal Council, Governor Polis, and his team continue to work hand in hand as separate sovereign governments to address the challenges and opportunities. For more information, please contact Tribal Council Affairs at 970-563-2313.



Summer R. Begay

Communication Specialist | Tribal Council Affairs

Southern Ute Indian Tribe

P.O. Box 737 Ignacio, CO 81137

Office: 970-563-2313

Work Cell: 970-553-0052


Southern Ute Health Center Announces Vaccine Clinics

The Southern Ute Health Center Walk-In vaccine clinics will be held on Thursday afternoons from 1:00-4:00PM, for Southern Ute Health Center patients beginning October 12, 2023, through the end of the year (with the exception of Thursday, November 23, 2023, no clinic due to the Thanksgiving Holiday). Patients can also schedule by calling (970) 563-4581.   Available vaccines are the following:

COVID 19 (adult and pediatric),

Flu (adult and pediatric),

RSV (60 years of age+ and pediatric ages younger than 20 months old)

All three vaccines can be administered on the same day, if desired. CDC recommends patients remain under observation for 15 minutes, or 30 minutes if they have a history of severe allergic reaction after a COVID-19 vaccination.


Please feel free to call the Southern Ute Health Center with any additional questions at (970) 563-4581.

Thank you,

Lee Williamson, RN

Chief Nursing Officer-Southern Ute Health Center