Southern Ute Indian Tribe Run-Off Election 2020 COVID-19 SAFETY PRECAUTIONS & VOTING DAY PROCEDURES

Due to COVID-19 and winter coming up, the Election Board will be supervising and administering the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Run-Off Election 2020 at SunUte Community Center, Ignacio CO.

  • Voting will take place inside SunUte meeting rooms as in previous elections due to winter conditions
  • 2 voters in the polling place at one time.
  • An “X” will be located outside on the sidewalk next to the meeting room outside doors, marking every (6) feet where voters will stand when more than one voter is present.
  • We ask all voters to please wear a mask. If you do not have one we will provide a disposable one for your use.
  • Sanitizing of the voting booths will occur throughout the day, please be patient.
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided for your use, please sanitize before coming to the election area.
    The counting of the ballots will be a closed session, only the board members and personnel assisting the board in this process will be allowed for safety due to it being in an enclosed area.
    For Absentee Ballot request contact Election Board at 970-563-2303 or ext. 2305/2729/2728
    Off Reservation Tribal Members phone 1-800-772-1236 ext. 2303
    Email: election@southernute-nsn.gov

Please click on the following link to preview what the ballot looks like:
Run – Off Sample Ballot 2020

EMERGENCY ABSENTEE VOTING PROCEDURES

Southern Ute Election Board
Emergency Deadline for Run-Off Election 2020– Thursday, December 17, 2020 by 5 P.M.

EMERGENCY ABSENTEE VOTING PROCEDURES:
11-5-107
(1) A voter may make a written request that the Election Board provide him an emergency absentee ballot if:
(a) He will be confined in a hospital or at his place of residence on election day because of events arising after the deadline for absentee ballot requests; or
(b) He must be absent from the reservation on election day and the reason for such absence arose after the deadline for absentee ballot requests.

(2) The written request shall contain the following:
(a) The voter’s name and address;
(b) The nature of the emergency causing confinement or absence from the
reservation; and
(c) The voter’s signature.

(3) An emergency ballot may be requested any day after the day of the absentee ballot deadline but prior to the day of election. The Election Board shall review emergency requests on a case-by-case basis. If the Election Board determines not to grant the request, the voter shall be promptly notified of the denial and the reason. If the Election Board determines that the request should be granted, the Election Board shall deliver the emergency ballot at its office during regular business hours or, in the case of a medical emergency, at the place where the voter is confined.

Contact the Election Board at (970) 563-2302
Ext. 2305/2729/2728
Off Reservation Tribal Members
Telephone: 1-800-772-1236 ext.2303
Email: election@southernute-nsn.gov

The Southern Ute Tribal Court has issued Administrative Order 2020-03, modifying their operating services until further notice.

The Southern Ute Tribal Court has issued Administrative Order 2020-03, modifying their operating services until further notice. The attached Administrative Order is effective Monday, November 16, 2020. The Southern Ute Tribal Court will only hear cases that directly affect public safety or are mandated to be heard pursuant to the Southern Ute Tribal Code. Please call the Tribal Court’s communication line at (970) 563-0240, for updated information.

Please click on the following link for more detailed information regarding this order:

Administrative Order 03 COVID.pdf

Southern Ute Special Election fills vacant Tribal Council seat

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Christine Sage, Chairman – 970.563.0100

Lindsay J. Box – 970.759.1494

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 2, 2020 – 10:15 A.M.

Southern Ute Special Election fills vacant Tribal Council seat

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – On Friday, October 30, 2020 the Southern Ute Indian Tribe held the 2020 Special Election and on Monday, November 2, 2020 the Southern Ute Election Board presented the certified results. Vanessa P. Torres secured support with 105 while candidates      Marty M. Pinnecoose with 100 votes and Corliss M. Taylor with 89 votes.

Torres has dedicated over 11 years to tribal court judicial system in positions as the Wellness Court Case Manager/Senior Probation Officer, Probation Officer, and Southern Ute Tribal Court Clerk. She also worked as the Senior Property Shift Manager at the Sky Ute Casino Resort.

“Thank you all who voted for the Special Election. I am deeply grateful and humbled for given an opportunity to be a voice for the people. Let’s continue to work together for a successful future for the Tribe and the membership,” said Torres.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, hunting, fishing, motorcycling, reading, and participating in cultural events. She is married and shares one daughter.

“I look forward to working with the new Tribal Council Member. We are continuing working diligently for the tribe and the tribal membership involving all four tribal entities. Welcome aboard!” stated Chairman Christine Sage.

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20201030 – Southern Ute Special Election fills vacant Tribal Council seat

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

FOR MORE INFORAMTION CONTACT:
BIA Fire Office – 970.563.4571
Lindsay Box, PIO – 970.563.2313
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 28, 2020

Southern Ute Reservation Rescinds Stage I Fire Restrictions

 
Southern Ute Indian Reservation – After a long and arduous fire season, widespread moisture finally occurred throughout the Southern Ute Indian Reservation allowing Stage I fire restrictions to be rescinded.
Fire Restrictions have been in place since early May and during that time there have been a total of 38 fires on the reservation with the largest being the 220 acre Six Shooter fire. Southern Ute Agency fire personnel have also travelled to fires throughout the country, working on fires in California, Oregon, and northern Colorado.
Although the fire danger has diminished, we still ask that everyone on reservation lands be cautious with fire.
If you have any further questions, please contact Southern Ute Agency Fire Management at (970) 563-4571.
The Stage I Fire Restrictions are rescinded at 6:00 A.M, October 28, 2020.
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Summary of the Proposed Water Quality Standards for Surface Waters on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation and Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Procedures

Summary of the Proposed Water Quality Standards for Surface Waters on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation and Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Procedures

On March 28, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s application to be treated in a similar manner as a state for purposes of the Clean Water Act’s water quality standards and section 401 water quality certification programs. At the direction and with the support of the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council, the Environmental Programs Division (“Division”) has developed water quality standards and Clean Water Act section 401 water quality certification procedures for tribal waters. What follows is a summary of the Division’s proposed water quality standards and Clean Water Act section 401 certification procedures.

Proposed Water Quality Standards
Water quality standards form a legal basis for controlling pollutants entering tribal waters. Water quality standards describe the desired condition of a water body and the means by which that condition will be protected or achieved. Water bodies can be used for purposes such as recreation (e.g. swimming, fishing, boating), protection of aquatic life, agricultural, public water supply, industrial, navigation, and other purposes.

The Division has developed proposed water quality standards to protect public health and welfare, enhance the quality of water, and serve the purposes of the Clean Water Act. To ensure that the standards are approvable by EPA, the Division has included the elements required under the Clean Water Act and EPA’s implementing regulations: (1) designated uses for tribal waters, (2) numeric and narrative water quality criteria designed to protect each designated use, (3) antidegradation policies and procedures to ensure attainment and maintenance of the designated uses, and (4) general policies to protect water quality.

The proposed water quality standards serve the primary functions of (1) establishing water quality goals for water bodies on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation over which the Tribe has authority to set water quality standards and (2) providing the legal basis for regulatory pollution controls. Establishing criteria and designated uses that protect aquatic and wildlife species, recreational use, potable water, and agricultural uses is also an important objective of these standards. More specifically, the standards should serve, and will be implemented to achieve, these purposes:

  1. Assessment. Provide a point of reference for the assessment of surface water quality.
    The standards represent the water quality goals of the Tribe for surface waters and will be
    used in assessing potential impacts to that quality.
  2.  Regulatory Controls. Both point and nonpoint source regulatory pollution controls to be established by the Tribe or the United States will be developed to ensure a level of water quality that will satisfy the water quality standards. Regulatory pollution controls established for point source discharges will also be consistent with applicable sections of the Clean Water Act. Tribal programs to control nonpoint sources, whether regulatory or voluntary, will be designed to meet the water quality standards.

Protection of Aquatic and Wildlife Species. The Tribe intends that the designated uses and criteria assigned to tribal waters will provide a level of water quality fully protective of aquatic and wildlife species dependent on it, including threatened or endangered species listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Procedures

Under Clean Water Act section 401, a federal agency cannot issue a permit or license for an activity that may cause a discharge to waters of the United States until the state or tribe where the discharge would originate has granted or waived Clean Water Act section 401 certification. With this authority, the Tribe can deny, certify, waive, or condition permits or licenses based in part on the proposed project’s compliance with the Tribe’s EPA-approved water quality standards. Clean Water Act section 401 certification authority, therefore, is an important tool for protecting water quality, although it is limited in scope and application to situations involving federally permitted or licensed activities that may cause a discharge to a water of the United States.

The Tribe’s proposed 401 water quality certification procedures:

  1. delegate authority to the Division to act on behalf of the Tribe in exercising the Tribe’s Clean Water Act section 401 certification authority;
  2. establish an application process through the Division that requires the applicant to reimburse the Tribe for the costs of application review;
  3. establish a process for applications to be reviewed both internally within the tribal organization (through a proposed project notification process) and through a public review and comment process;
  4. set forth the factors that will be considered in reviewing applications (e.g., compliance with water quality standards);
  5. describe the decision-making process and the possible decisions (e.g., grant, grant with conditions, deny, or waive);
  6. list the general requirements that will apply to all of the Tribe’s Clean Water Act section 401 certifications; and
  7. provide for judicial review in the Tribal Court of any Clean Water Act section 401 certification decisions by the Environmental Programs Division.

Notice and Request for Tribal Member Comments

Comments will be accepted until October 30, 2020. You may submit comments related to the water quality standards or 401 certification procedures through the Tribal Member Portal or any of the
following methods:

▪ E-mail: wqs@southernute-nsn.gov

▪ Mail: Water Quality Standards Committee, Environmental Programs Division, Southern Ute Indian
Tribe, P.O. Box 737 #81, 71 Mike Frost Way, Ignacio, Colorado 81137.

▪ Phone: (970) 563-4705; select the 7901 option to comment on the water quality standards and 401 certification procedures.

All comments received will be reviewed and the Division will provide a response to all comments. Once completed, the proposed water quality standards and 401 certification procedures will be available for an additional general public review for a 45-day period.

If you have any questions, please call Alexandra Ratcliff at 970-563-2256 or Jeff Seebach at 970-563-2272.

Outreach Flyer

 

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: Six Shooter Fire breaks out on Southern Ute Indian Reservation

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

BIA Fire Management – 970.563.4751

Lindsay Box, PIO – 970.563.2313

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 16, 2020

Six Shooter Fire breaks out on Southern Ute Indian Reservation

Ignacio, CO – The Six Shooter Fire was reported on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation at approximately 15:30, June 16, 2020. (Insert directions) The fire is located in the Six Shooter Canyon and estimated between 75 acres and 0% contained.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Southern Ute Agency Fire Management and Los Pinos Fore Protection District immediately responded. Resources include an air attack, one large airtanker and a single engine airtankers.

Smoke is visible from Colorado Highway 550 and County Road 318. Smoke will be visible to the local communities. For information related to air quality, please go to: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health

The cause and extent of the fire is unknown at this time and the Tribe is coordinating with local agencies to ensure the safety of the public and to minimize the impact of the fire. The Tribe is also working with oil and gas operators in the area to shut-in facilities in the vicinity of the fire in an effort to mitigate any potential impact from those operators to first responder’s ability to contain the fire.

As a reminder, Stage 1 fire restrictions were enacted for Southern Ute Indian Reservation on Monday, May 11, 2020 and will remain in effect until conditions improve.

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

 

STAGE I

General Public:

Prohibited acts:

  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 or 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.

For more information on the Six Shooter Fire, please visit the Southern Ute Indian Tribe website, and follow the Southern Ute Indian Tribe on social media.

To report fires contact:

DURANGO ZONE DISPATCH (970) 385-1324

For more info or to report Fire Restriction Violations contact:

BIA FIRE MANAGEMENT (970) 563-4571 OR SOUTHERN UTE POLICE DEPARTMENT (970) 563-4401

 

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Photo Credit | Lindsay J. Box

#SixShooterFire

20200616 – Six Shooter Fire breaks out on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation