Save the Date: QueerMunity Pride Conference

Save the Date: The Ignacio Out and Equal Alliance (IOEA) is hosting the first QueerMunity Pride Conference on June 29th, 2024 in Ignacio, CO.
IOEA is accepting workshop proposals until April 25th, 2024. Please scan the QR code or visit the link. Additional details are forthcoming!

For more information, please contact IOEA at

-Summer Begay, Communication Specialist.

For Immediate Release: Tribal Council Advocates for Tribal Interests at the State Capitol


Melvin J. Baker, Chairman – 970.563.2320

Summer Begay, Communication Specialist– 970.563.2313



Tribal Council Advocates for Tribal Interests at the State Capitol

Ute Day at the Capitol was officially designated by Governor Jared Polis in 2019 to publicly celebrate and honor the contributions and sovereignty of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, and the Ute Indian Tribe. In addition, this designation encourages Coloradans to actively seek knowledge about the history and heritage of the Ute people in Colorado’s past, present, and future. That history has long been one of broken promises and the infringement of Tribal lands and sovereignty. Agreements with the Ute bands have been dishonored for the economic gains of others. This disrespect is not a relic of a distant past but far too often continues today. To address ongoing violations and historical injustice, Tribal Council traveled to Denver last week to meet with state legislators and the Governor to emphasize the importance of the State to uphold its commitment to Tribal agreements, particularly those concerning Tribal land.

On Friday, March 15, 2024, Chairman Baker gave a powerful address to the General Assembly. He highlighted key concerns, including Colorado’s violation of its 30-year-old gaming compact with the Tribe, efforts by the City of Durango to infringe on the Tribe’s sovereignty by annexing lands within the Reservation boundaries, and the importance of safeguarding the Tribe’s water rights.

With respect to gaming, Chairman Baker reminded the Legislature that the Tribe’s Gaming Compact, ratified by the State Legislature, signed by the Governor, and approved by the Secretary of Interior, allows the Tribe to engage in gaming activities “that are identical to the activities and bet amounts that are authorized in the State of Colorado.” Therefore, when the State authorized statewide internet sports betting, the Tribe under its Compact was allowed to engage in statewide internet sports betting. However, the Governor failed to honor this Compact when the Colorado Department of Gaming ordered suppliers to not engage in business with the Tribe, solely to benefit non-Tribal gaming interests. The Tribe is entitled to engage in statewide internet sports betting in accordance with its Gaming Compact and the Chairman called upon the State Legislature to ensure that the State’s longstanding agreement with the Tribe is honored. He encouraged the Legislature to support legislation supported by Senator Robert Rodriguez, Majority Leader of the State Senate, ensuring that the State complies with its obligations under the Gaming Compact.

Chairman Baker further encouraged the Legislature to assist the Tribe in resisting efforts by the City of Durango to annex lands within the Reservation boundaries. He reminded the Legislature of the State’s history of seizing Tribal land to support non-Tribal economic interests. Chairman Baker related the City’s plans to take advantage of lands and resources within the Reservation boundaries, of which have been confirmed by federal law, to support the City’s economic interests. He described the City’s failure to collaborate with the Tribe on this issue, its disregard for the cooperative agreements with La Plata County, and how annexation will worsen the already critical MMIR crisis through increased jurisdictional complexities. Chairman Baker asked that the Legislature support a bill sponsored by Senators Jessie Danielson and Cleve Simpson, House Majority Leader Representative Monica Duran, and House Minority Leader Rose Pugliese, requiring Tribal consent before lands are annexed within the Reservation boundaries.

Following the address, Tribal Council met with Governor Polis and Lt. Governor Primavera for a roundtable discussion. Once again, Tribal Council encouraged the Governor to honor the Tribe’s sovereignty and the State’s agreements with the Tribe. In May 2019, Governor Polis wrote, “In Colorado we respect our government-to-government relationship with the Tribes.”  During the roundtable discussion, he acknowledged his administration did not contact or consult the Tribe while sports betting was in the process of being implemented. Moreover, when the Governor suggested that the electorate may have supported sports betting legislation to generate revenue for the State, he was reminded that members of the two Colorado Tribes had supported the legislation because it enabled the Tribes to engage in sports betting under their longstanding gaming compacts and Tribal members’ votes counted as much as those of non-Tribal members.

By visiting the Capitol, Tribal Council demonstrated their commitment to building strong relationships with state officials. Their advocacy aims to secure policies that respect the Tribe’s self-governance, to enact positive changes, and to promote prosperity for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.


Southern Ute Permanent Fund Gears Up for the 2024 Spring Clean-Up

2024 Annual Spring Clean-Up

April 15-19, 2024

 By Appointment Only No pickups over the weekend or the week after.

Save the Date! Fall Clean-up Oct 7-11, 2024!

Tribal Members, Tribal Departments, and any tenant of the Southern Ute Indian Housing Authority are eligible for Spring Clean-Up services. Tribal Departments will not pick up for non-tribal tenants living in Tribal Member owned rental homes. All pick-ups must be within the boundaries of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation only.

Town of Ignacio continues to address water main break

The Town of Ignacio continues to address the water main break issue that took place on February 14, 2024.  All local community members are encouraged to follow the Town of Ignacio’s Facebook social media page and website for continued updates on the issue. A map is also attached with the RED outlined area indicating the approximate water outage area and the YELLOW outlined area indicating the boil advisory area.

Please make efforts to share information with neighbors, family members, etc. who may not have access to social media or technological resources for continued updates.

We ask that local community members refrain from calling the Southern Ute Police Department for updates. We want to ensure that line remains open for warranted emergencies.

If there are questions regarding the boil advisory or water outage, please contact the Town of Ignacio at (970) 563-9494 during normal business hours of 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.

Any calls received outside of the Town of Ignacio’s normal business hours will be advised accordingly with appropriate recorded messaging.

– Tribal Information Services

Tribal Broadband Modernization Project: Phase II Construction Update & Traffic Impacts


Melvin J. Baker, Chairman – 970-563-2320
Summer Begay, Communication Specialist – 970-563-2313

FOR RELEASE: February 05, 2024

Tribal Broadband Modernization Project: Phase II Construction Update & Traffic Impacts

Project News: Phase II is underway and construction has begun to connect fiber to homes!

Where: Crews will be working within the Ignacio town limits, CR-517 near the Sky Ute Casino and Ute Rd. Construction will take place along the edge of the roadways/alleyways. Please see the maps with construction zones indicated in red.

What: The broadband project will include trenching, boring, and plowing to lay fiber, as well as reclamation and seeding. Construction vehicles and fiber spools will be visible on the shoulder.

When: Construction is ongoing. Hours of operation will be from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Travel Impact: Parking lanes, sidewalks, and alleyways may be temporarily closed during operations. Motorists will be required to reduce speeds and travel safely around the construction taking place on the side of the road. Please remember to slow down in construction zones, eliminate distractions, and drive with extra caution. Motorists are also urged to watch for workers and equipment along the roadway.

In the event of an emergency or to report a reckless driver, please contact the Southern Ute Police Department at 970-563-4401.

For more information about the Tribal Broadband Modernization Project, please visit the link in the image.

Southern Ute Agency plans the Annual Sundance Pile Rx Burn tomorrow, January 17, 2024

Making notification that the Southern Ute Agency will be conducting the annual Sundance Pile Rx burn tomorrow, Wednesday, January 17, 2024. Attached is the News Release regarding the project.

Corey Francis will be the qualified Burn Boss Type 3 (RXB3).  For further information, Mr. Francis can be reached directly at (505) 330-4015.


Corey Francis

Southern Ute Wildlife Resource Division Collecting Sealed Bids from SU Tribal Members Only for (5) Bison

The Wildlife Resource Management Division will be collecting sealed bids from Tribal Members only for (5) Live Bison. They will all be females (3-9 yrs. old) 100% grass fed and are up to date on vaccines.

Bids are set at a $500 minimum and must be submitted by January 31st, 2024, by 5:00pm. All buyers will be required to sign a Sales Agreement and agree to the Terms and Conditions of the sale.

For more information, please call the Wildlife Division at (970) 563-0130.


Tribal Council adopts NEW Title 32 – Civil Truancy Code as part of the SUIT Law and Order Code.

On January 2, 2024, the Tribal Council adopted new Title 32 – Civil Truancy Code as part of the SUIT Law and Order Code.

Please see the attached Public Notice for more information.

A copy of the code can be found at:

Leslie Barnhart

Legal Department

Southern Ute Indian Tribe

P.O. Box 737  | Ignacio, CO | 81137


For Immediate Release: Stability and Renewal Baker Leads the Tribe into Second Term with New Council 12/18/2023


Melvin J. Baker, Chairman – 970.563.2320

Summer Begay, Communication Specialist– 970.563.2313


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 18, 2023

Stability and Renewal: Baker Leads the Tribe into Second Term with New Council

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – The Southern Ute Indian Tribe welcomed Chairman, Melvin J. Baker and Council Member, Marty Pinnecoose during the Inauguration Ceremony this morning at Sky Ute Casino Resort. Surrounded by family, tribal members, and visiting dignitaries, the ceremony marked a momentous occasion for the Tribe as it embraced Council Member Pinnecoose for his first term and Chairman Baker for his second term as Chairman.

Chairman Melvin J. Baker, a dedicated advocate for tribal sovereignty, brings a wealth of experience to his new term. Baker previously served four terms on Tribal Council. With a commitment to preserving and enhancing the resources, tradition, and identity of the Pino Nuuchiu, Chairman Baker is poised to lead the Tribe with vision and resilience. “Your faith in my leadership is truly inspiring. I am deeply grateful for your unwavering support and the privilege of serving as Chairman for another term”, stated Chairman Baker.

Council Member Marty Pinnecoose looks forward to beginning to his first term on Tribal Council. Pinnecoose had a multi-faceted career that included working as a journeyman ironworker, actor, teacher, role model, businessman. “I would like to thank the Tribal Membership for their vote of confidence, I am eager to learn, to listen, and to grow alongside you. This is not my seat alone, it is a shared space built on trust and collaboration”, stated Council Member Pinnecoose.

Chairman Baker has selected Lorelei Cloud to serve as his Vice Chairman. The appointment for the Executive Office will be announced in the coming days.

For more information, please contact Tribal Council Affairs at 970-563-2319.


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