Southern Ute Indian Tribe

News

News

PSA Tribal Broadband Modernization Project Construction Travel Impacts on CO Hwy 151

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Melvin J. Baker, Chairman – 970.563.0100

Tribal Council Affairs – 970.563.2319

FOR RELEASE: September 23, 2022

Tribal Broadband Modernization Project Construction Travel Impacts on CO Hwy 151

Project News: Bonfire Engineering will begin construction on two separate sections as outlined in Phase I of the tribal broadband project. The first section will begin at the intersection of CO Highway 172 and CO Highway 151, heading east on CO Highway 151.

Where: Crews will start on construction at the intersection of CO Highway 172 and CO Highway 151 working east on CO Highway 151 to mile marker 12. Construction will take place along the shoulder of the roadway. Please see attached map.

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 will begin on Friday, September 23, 2022, and conclude on Wednesday, November 23, 2022. Hours of operation will be from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Travel Impact: Traffic lanes will be narrowed on both CO Highway 172. 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 Southern Ute Police Department by dialing (970) 563-4401.

To find more information about the Tribal Broadband Modernization Project, please visit the project website at https://www.southernute-nsn.gov/broadband-modernization-project/

traffic map

Complete the SUIT Ignacio Area Housing Needs Study Survey

Southern Ute Indian Tribe

Ignacio Area Housing Needs Study

Tribal Council has identified the need for affordable housing located in the Ignacio area which would provide new, modern housing options for the membership and tribal workforce. Council requested Growth Fund Properties Group, in collaboration with the Executive Office, to oversee the new Ignacio Area Housing Study. The feedback collected will serve as the future tribal housing developments for generations to come.

 

Leadership encourages tribal members, tribal staff, and the community to participate in this study. Please complete the survey at the following link: https://bit.ly/3RAc6xR  before Friday, October 7, 2022 by 5:00 p.m.

 

If you have questions, please contact Mr. Pat Morrissey, President/COO, GF Properties Group at (970) 764.6474 or via email at pmorrissey@sugf.com, Ms. Nancy Dosdall, Senior Planner, SHE Inc., at (970) 385.4546 or via email at ndosdall@sehinc.com, or myself at (970) 563.2313 or via email at lbox@southernute-nsn.gov

20220826 – Ignacio Area Housing Needs Study Survey Flyer FINAL

Introducing Tribal Council’s Ignacio Area Housing Study

Maykh,

 

Please read the attached letter from Tribal Council introducing the Tribal Council’s Ignacio Area Housing Needs Study.

 

Tribal Council has identified the need for affordable housing located in the Ignacio area which would provide new, modern housing options for the membership and tribal workforce. Since the beginning of the year, administration and hiring managers for each tribal entity have expressed that the lack of housing poses a significant challenge for the recruiting and hiring of staff. Adequate housing has been a longstanding and ongoing project for Tribal Council. Leadership encourages participation in this study.

 

In April of this year, Tribal Council directed the Southern Ute Growth Fund (SUGF) and the Executive Office to review the 2014 Tribal Housing Study, conduct an updated needs assessment in the community, and report the findings to Tribal Council. Tribal Council requested GF Properties Group (the real estate business arm of the SUGF), in collaboration with the Executive Office, to oversee an Ignacio Area Housing Study.

 

Once again, we are requesting your participation in this study. The feedback collected will serve as the foundation of future tribal housing developments for generations to come. This project will take a considerable amount of time and effort and it is very important that we begin this process sooner rather than later. Please stay tuned for details on the survey which will begin in the coming weeks.

 

For more information on this project, please contact Patrick Morrissey, President/COO, GF Properties Group, (970) 764.6474 or via email at pmorrissey@sugf.com.

20220819 – Letter to TM re New Tribal Housing Study (FINAL)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bear Dance Fire Burn Area Closed Until Further Notice

Maykh,

Please read the attached press release: “Bear Dance Fire Burn Area Closed Until Further Notice”

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
Melvin J. Baker, Chairman – 970.563.0100
Lindsay J. Box – 970.563.2313

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 26, 2022

Bear Dance Fire Burn Area Closed Until Further Notice

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – The Southern Ute Tribal Council has permanently closed the Bear Dance Fire Burn Area until further notice. The Bear Dance Fire ignited on June 3 on tribal trust land. The riparian area burned 89 acres north of the Bear Dance grounds and along the Pine River.

BIA Fire Management welcomed the Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation (BAER) team to oversee the BAER planning and implementation. The program brought technical experts to the Southern Ute Indian Reservation to meet with tribal professionals to address safety hazards and begin restoration. While conducting a walk through with Tribal Council, leadership noticed what was thought to be an area where hazardous materials may have been disposed of in years past.

The area housed historic office buildings for the BIA. Like many older buildings, the materials used at the time of construction often contained hazardous materials. The Bear Dance Fire exposed the site and the hazardous materials which has created a concern for public health. Out of an abundance of caution, Tribal Council has closed the Bear Dance Fire burn area until further notice.

The BAER program will be placed on a temporary hold until the area can be investigated by professionals. At the conclusion of the investigation, , alternatives will be evaluated and a plan will be developed to protect public health and the environment.. Additional information will be shared at that time.

If you have any questions, please contact Tribal Council at (970) 563.0199 or the Southern Ute Environmental Programs Division at (970) 563.2206.

“The health and safety of the tribal membership and our tribal community is one of the highest priorities for Tribal Council. We were looking forward to seeing the remediation work by the BAER team and tribal staff, however the safety of all involved takes greater precedence. It is very important that the tribal community take heed to this health advisory and refrain from entering the Bear Dance Fire burn area,” stated Chairman Melvin J. Baker.

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20220726 – Bear Dance Fire Burn Area Closed Until Further Notice (Final)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Southern Ute Tribal Council Reaffirms Significance of Tribal Sovereignty

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Melvin J. Baker, Chairman – 970.563.0100

Lindsay Box – 970.563.2313

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 22, 2022

 

Southern Ute Tribal Council Reaffirms Significance of Tribal Sovereignty

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – The Southern Ute Tribal Council shares their approved Statement on Sovereignty via Resolution No. 2022-126. The Tribal Council’s Statement on Sovereignty arises out of recent events that are an affront to the sovereignty of all tribes in the United States.   The Supreme Court ruling on Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta undermines the true definition of sovereignty, and restrains Tribes’ ability to govern themselves, and ultimately protect tribal members and resources. This is the most significant threat to Tribal sovereignty in many years. Tribal Council believes the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Statement on Sovereignty illustrates the tribe’s position on this threat to tribal sovereignty and governance.

“The Statement on Sovereignty reasserts the foundation for which the Tribe operates and governs itself. The Tribe will continue to fight to protect its inherent sovereignty which our past Ute leaders fought to preserve through treaties and declared by federal law in exchange for the land stolen and the attempted eradication of our Ute culture and language.” stated Chairman Melvin J. Baker.

The Tribal Council’s Statement on Sovereignty begins by emphasizing that the Tribe’s sovereignty is inherent, and it asserts how the Tribe exercises sovereignty now and into the future:

Southern Ute Indian Tribe

Statement on Sovereignty

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe is a sovereign and will remain a sovereign. The Mouache and Kaputa bands have retained their sovereignty through European settlement, the formation of the United States, the establishment of the Reservation, and the creation of the State of Colorado. The Tribe’s sovereign authority was not conferred on it by the federal government; rather, its authority is inherent, having always existed and having never been extinguished. The Tribe exercises its sovereignty daily by operating the tribal government; exercising jurisdiction within the exterior boundaries of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation; overseeing its current territory; regulating and providing for the tribal membership; and acting on a government-to-government basis with other sovereigns, including the United States, the State of Colorado, and other tribal nations.

The Statement on Sovereignty, which will be incorporated into the Tribe’s living governance manual, goes on to prescribe expectations for protecting tribal sovereignty:

Operating as a government, the Tribe is exercising its sovereignty; the Tribe must also be resolute about protecting its sovereignty from infringement. Protecting sovereignty requires vigilance by Tribal Council Members, tribal officials, and tribal employees. To protect against infringement on tribal sovereignty by other governments, the Tribe monitors federal and state legislation; enacts tribal codes, analyzes federal authority before acquiescing to federal regulations, requirements, and inspections; and is strategic in its interactions with other tribal nations, local and state governments, and the federal government.

“As a sovereign nation, we will continue to enhance the Tribe’s economic development and preserve our culture as we have in the past by working with our neighbors, solely on a government-to-government basis, not as a subordinate party.”

The Statement on Sovereignty is part of a larger effort by the Tribal Council to establish a living governance document that is designed to define roles and responsibilities, oversight functions, and the decision-making process for the benefit of the Tribe, its tribal members, tribal officials, tribal employees, and delegates.

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20220719 – Southern Ute Tribal Council Reaffirms Significance of Tribal Sovereignty (FINAL)

PSA: Tribal Broadband Modernization Project Construction Travel Impacts Along Bayfield Parkway

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Melvin J. Baker, Chairman – 970.563.0100

Lindsay J. Box, Communication Specialist – 970.563.2313

 

FOR RELEASE: July 19, 2022

Tribal Broadband Modernization Project Construction Travel Impacts Along Bayfield Parkway

Project News: Bonfire Engineering will begin construction on Bayfield Parkway entering the Town of Bayfield as outlined in Phase I of the tribal broadband project. Construction will take place along Bayfield Parkway beginning at the intersection of CR 516 traveling northeast along Bayfield Parkway into the Town of Bayfield, taking a left on CR 501 ending at the intersection of CR 501 and US Highway 160.

Where: Crews will start at the intersection of CR 516 and Bayfield Parkway working northeast on Bayfield Parkway towards the intersection of CR 501 and US Highway 160. Construction will take place along the shoulder of the roadway. Please see attached map.

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 on both sections will begin on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, and conclude on Tuesday, August 2, 2022. Hours of operation will be from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Travel Impact: Traffic lanes will be narrowed on Bayfield Parkway. 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 Southern Ute Police Department by dialing (970) 563-4401 or the Bayfield Marshall’s Office at (970) 884-9636.

To find more information about the Tribal Broadband Modernization Project, please visit the project website at https://www.southernute-nsn.gov/broadband-modernization-project/

 

20220719 – PSA – Tribal Broadband Modernization Project Construction Travel Impacts along Bayfield Parkway (FINAL)

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives Awareness Day

Maykh,

This morning, the Southern Ute Tribal Council convened to approve the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Honorary Proclamation declaring today, May 5, 2022 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives Awareness Day. MMIR Advocate, Ms. Daisy Bluestar was present in Chambers for the approval. Tribal leadership thanked Ms. Bluestar and all those who volunteer and fight to bring awareness and justice to tribal communities.

Missing & Murdered Indigenous Relatives Awareness Day
May 5, 2022

WHEREAS, Indigenous communities in the United States have faced unprecedented rates of violence throughout history and continue to experience this rate of violence today; and

WHEREAS, Indian Country has thousands of unsolved cases of missing and murdered Indigenous relatives with cases continuing to rise; and

WHEREAS, 83 percent of Indigenous people have or will experience some form of violence in their lifetime; and

WHEREAS, Indigenous women and girls face the possibility of being murdered at ten times the rate of all other ethnicities; and

WHEREAS, This crisis in Indian Country is the result of undervaluing Indigenous lives, underfunding, inaccurate reporting, misidentification, lack of media coverage, and jurisdictional challenges; and

WHEREAS, The Secretary of the Interior formed the Missing & Murdered Unit within the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services to address the lack of resources and the failure to prioritize the cases of missing and murdered Indigenous relatives in tribal communities; and

WHEREAS, The Southern Ute Indian Tribe has provided support for the creation of an Office of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives in the State of Colorado for the safety of our tribal community; and

WHEREAS, The Southern Ute Indian Tribe remains committed to addressing this crisis and provide protection for all Indigenous people who reside on or visit the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.

NOW, THEREFORE, in recognition of the foregoing, the Council of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe does hereby proclaim the 5th of May, as

MISSING & MURDERED INDIGENOUS RELATIVES AWARENESS DAY

This Proclamation was approved and adopted this 5th day of May 2022.

Signed by Chairman Melvin J. Baker

MMIP Awareness Day Flyer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Rise in COVID Cases Prompts Tribe to Revert to Phase II “Safer at Home”, Level 3

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Melvin J. Baker, Chairman – 970.563.0100

Lindsay J. Box, Communication Specialist – 970.563.2313

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, January 5, 2022

 

Rise in COVID Cases Prompts Tribe to Revert to Phase II “Safer at Home”, Level 3

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – Due to the rise in positive case rate and one-week cumulative incident rate, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe reverts back to Phase II “Safer at Home”, Level 3 effective Thursday, January 6, 2022. The Southern Ute Tribal Council adopted amended COVID-19 metrics via Resolution 2021-104. Tribal Council in collaboration with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Incident Management Team (IMT) has determined it is in the best interests of the tribal membership and the tribal organization to move to the more restrictive phase.

 

Since the start of the pandemic, tribal leadership has continued to prioritize the health safety of the tribal membership, tribal staff, and our tribal community and has taken a more conservative approach in its response. “As we see the rise in positive cases and cumulative case rate locally, the Tribe has taken its responsibility to protect the health safety of the membership and staff seriously. We have determined it is best to move to a more restrictive operation for a short period of time,” stated Chairman Melvin J. Baker. “The quicker we move to the more restricted phase, the sooner we are able to control the spread of the virus within our tribal community. I would encourage our tribal membership, tribal staff, and our community to seriously consider getting vaccinated. If you have not gotten your booster, schedule your appointment. Our decisions today will protect our Tribal Elders, our language and culture.”

 

The Tribe remains committed to monitoring the local data and modifying tribal operations as necessary.

 

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe will remain in Phase II “Safer at Home”, Level 3 until otherwise lifted. The Tribal offices remain open to the public; however, all individuals will be required to make an appointment with all departments that provide direct services to the membership prior to entering any tribal building and by calling the department directly.

Below are some of the things to expect when the Tribe moves to Phase II “Safer at Home”, Level 3.

 

The following activities are allowed:

  • Visit, care for, and assist a family member or friend
  • Go to the grocery store
  • Pick up medications or attend medical appointments
  • Go to school or buy educational supplies
  • Go to, or get things from, work
  • Go to a restaurant or store, provided all protective measures of the establishment are followed
  • Spend time outdoors to enjoy activities such as walking, hiking, playing, or picnicking at a park, etc.
  • Exercise indoors or outdoors provided capacity restrictions and protective measures are in place
  • Take your pets to veterinarian appointments

The following activities are not allowed:

  • Do not leave your home or visit with family members and friends if you are sick
  • Do not go to work if you are part of the vulnerable populations
  • Do not visit loved ones who are not non-household members in the hospital, nursing home, or other residential care facility
  • Do not stop using a face mask or covering when you are leaving your home
  • Do not maintain less than 6 feet of distance between you and non-household members when you go out

Restrictions in Phase II, Level 3:

  • Personal gatherings are restricted to 10 individuals or less
  • Indoor capacity is restricted to 25% and 25 person maximum capacity
  • Outdoor capacity is restricted to 25% and 50 person maximum capacity

For more information, please visit the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s website and social media, in the Southern Ute Drum, and on the air at KSUT Tribal Radio. Individuals can also call the Southern Ute Indian Tribe by dialing 970.563.0100.

 

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 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. Please continue to practice social distancing staying 6 feet away from others. Stay connected with your loved ones and be sure to check on our tribal elders.

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20220104 – Rise in COVID Cases Prompts Tribe to Revert to Phase II “Safer at Home”, Level 3 (FINAL)