Southern Ute Indian Tribe



Chairman Baker selects Olguin to lead Southern Ute Permanent Fund

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Melvin J. Baker, Chairman – 970.563.0100

Lindsay J. Box – 970.759.1494

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 11, 2021 – 1:00 P.M.

Chairman Baker selects Olguin to lead Southern Ute Permanent Fund

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – Southern Ute Tribal Chairman Melvin J. Baker has appointed James M. “Mike” Olguin as the Executive Officer over the Southern Ute Permanent Fund.

“The role and responsibility of Executive Officer is vast and requires an individual with exceptional communication, time management, conflict resolution, problem solving skills while also working as a liaison between the tribal membership, tribal departments, and the tribal leadership,” stated Chairman Baker. “As we begin the new year under a new Chairman and Vice Chairman, I also wanted to begin with sharing my appointment of a new Executive Officer. It is important to me to take the necessary time to select the right individual for this role.”

The prominent position provides administrative support and guidance to Tribal Departments in accordance with Tribal Policies and Procedures and legal requirements as delegated by the Tribal Chairman; ensuring that the tribal membership receive quality services in an equitable manner and within established program guidelines and approved budgetary limitations. The office must also work to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the Department plans and programs to ensure that they are achieving the purpose for which they were intended.

Olguin enters the office with a large amount of experience. He served on Tribal Council a total of 9 years, including three years as Vice Chairman and two years as Treasurer, and has served twice as Executive Officer under Chairman Leonard C. Burch and Chairman Clement J. Frost.

“I take this appointment with great honor and humbleness with a clear drive and motivation to serve the people of our tribe in administering and managing the affairs of the Permanent Fund to the level of expectations of the Chairman, and Tribal Council, utilizing the work of the professional staff and their charge in carrying out the duties that serve the membership. It is my intent to ensure we have an administration that is progressive yet accountable in its day to day functions and tasks. I look forward to the challenges but know there are a lot of hard-working teams that will assist me in carrying out my duties,” stated Olguin.

Olguin has also worked as the Vice President of Regulatory Management for Sky Ute Sand and Gravel, Director of Natural Resources, and Supervisor of Wildlife Conservation Office. Olguin also brings a plethora of experience from serving on the following tribal committees: Growth Fund Management Committee, Red Cedar Gathering Company Management Committee, Permanent Fund Budget Committee, Southern Ute Indian Tribe Audit Committee, Growth Fund Tribal Member Employment Advisory Committee, and Permanent Fund Credit Committee among others.

“I believe Mr. Olguin will work alongside Tribal Council and my office in the best interests of the tribal membership and the tribal organization. His experience makes him an ideal candidate for the role as Executive Officer and provides him with both the knowledge and ability to implement my vision of progress,” expressed Chairman Baker. “I would also like to thank Mrs. Barbara Scott-Rarick and her commitment to a smooth transition as well as an extension of her appointment while I pursued a successor.”

Chairman Baker will appoint a second Executive Officer in the coming weeks.

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Southern Ute Indian Tribe COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance

As we near the holiday season and witness a new year on the horizon, we are met with continue uncertainty about our future. We have been center stage to an unprecedented viral pandemic, one that has not been seen in over one hundred years. We have seen, and some have experienced, tragic illness and loss throughout our community. As the year draws to a close, two biotech companies have developed and launched a vaccine against the virus, brining much needed hope.

Both Pfizer and Moderna have been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). An EUA provided by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows the use of a new medical product during the time of a public health emergency. Both vaccines developed by two separate biotech companies have proven to be highly efficacious (both over 90%).

Please read the information below to learn about both vaccines and the distribution schedule.

For more information, please contact the Southern Ute Health Center at 970.563.4581 or the Southern Ute COVID-19 Call Center at 970.563.0214.

Designed & Published by Lindsay J. Box

Tribal Member COVID-19 Vaccine Survey

The Southern Ute Incident Management Team and Tribal Health Department would like to solicit participation in the Tribal Member COVID-19 Vaccine Survey to determine the level of participation of the membership as well as the questions and concerns that might exist.

The survey collection will begin on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 and conclude on Friday, January 23, 2021. Tribal Members can participate in the survey in the following ways.

𝟭. 𝗩𝗶𝗮 𝗦𝘂𝗿𝘃𝗲𝘆 𝗠𝗼𝗻𝗸𝗲𝘆 – a link to the Survey Monkey can be found on the tribal social media, Tribal Member Portal, and on Southern Ute Drum website.

𝟮. 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵 𝗖𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗖𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿 (𝟵𝟳𝟬.𝟱𝟲𝟯.𝟬𝟮𝟭𝟰) – share responses directly with Call Center staff who will collect your survey results. Membership can also request a hard copy survey to be mailed via the Call Center.

𝟯. 𝗧𝗿𝗶𝗯𝗮𝗹 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗰𝗶𝗹 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗟𝗶𝗻𝗲 (𝟵𝟳𝟬.𝟱𝟲𝟯.𝟰𝟳𝟬𝟱 𝗲𝘅𝘁. 𝟳𝟵𝟬𝟮) – Please leave your responses in numerical order. ⁣

For questions or for more information, please contact Ms. Lindsay J. Box, Tribal Council Communication Specialist at 970.563.2313 or via email at

vaccine survey town hall

𝗩𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗧𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗛𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗦𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗻 𝗨𝘁𝗲 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵 𝗖𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝗲𝗳 𝗠𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗢𝗳𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗲𝗿, 𝗗𝗿. 𝗥𝗶𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝗞𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗿

Dr. Richard Keller will host a virtual town hall for the tribal membership to share information and participate in a Q&A on the COVID-19 vaccines that will be available to the tribal membership and patients of the Southern Ute Health Center (SUHC).

𝗝𝗮𝗻𝘂𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝟮𝟳 & 𝟮𝟴, 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟭

𝟱:𝟯𝟬 𝘂𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗹 𝟲:𝟯𝟬 𝗽.𝗺.

𝗪𝗲𝗯-𝗘𝘅 𝗘𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗮𝗹𝘀𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗺𝗲𝗱 𝘃𝗶𝗮 𝗙𝗮𝗰𝗲𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸

Photo Credit | Lindsay J. Box

Designed & Produced by Lindsay J. Box

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Southern Ute Indian Tribe swears in new tribal officials

Melvin J. Baker – 970.563.0100
Lindsay J. Box – 970.563.2313
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 21, 2020 – 10:30 A.M.

Southern Ute Indian Tribe swears in new tribal officials

Southern Ute Indian Reservation –On Friday, December 18, 2020 the registered Southern Ute tribal voters took to the polls in the 2020 Run-Off Election to vote for Chairman and two Council Members. In accordance with the Southern Ute Tribal Election Code, Section 11-10-102 (3) “the candidate for each office in the run-off election who received the highest number of votes shall be deemed elected.”


The Southern Ute Election Board has confirmed the following election results:

Office of Tribal Chairman                                                        No. of Votes

                                    Melvin J. Baker                                                                                   214

Lorelei Cloud                                                                                       199


Office of Tribal Council                                                           No. of Votes

Lindsay J. Box                                                                                     159

Linda K. Baker                                                                                    205

James M. Olguin                                                                                 165

Stacey Oberly                                                                                       243


Chairman Melvin J. Baker has previously served 9 years on Tribal Council, including as Acting Chairman and Vice Chairman. Baker was born and raised on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. Throughout his political career, Baker worked on the development and implementation of the new Sky Ute Casino Resort, Southern Ute Cultural Center & Museum and served on various tribal and state committees including the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs and Southern Ute Indian Housing Authority.


“First, and foremost, I would like to thank everyone who supported and voted for me in this year’s election run for Chairman. I look forward to working with the current Tribal Council as well as the two newly elected Tribal Council members.


I ask that you all do your part in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay safe and wear your mask. Take care of our elders and our children.


I want to wish everyone Happy Holidays,” stated Chairman Baker.


Chairman Baker enjoys spending time with his family including his partner, three children and five grandchildren.

The two vacant Tribal Council seats were filled by Linda K. Baker and Stacey Oberly.


Newly Elected Council Member Baker has previously worked for the Southern Ute Museum as the Museum Director and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in the Anthropology Department. Baker attended Fort Lewis College and received her BA in History and a secondary teaching certification, as well as attending the University of Colorado at Denver; Western Archives Institute at San Diego State University; and Native American Museum Studies Institute at the University of California at Berkley.


“I would like to thank the membership for the vote of confidence and the dialogue with the other Candidates,” expressed Council Member Baker.


In her spare time, she enjoys beading, functional OCR/HIIT training, and providing educational consultation on Native American and Ute history and culture. She is the daughter of the late Archie Baker and Diana Cambridge-Baker.


Newly Elected Council Member Dr. Oberly has obtained a Ph.D in Linguistics, a Masters in Native American Linguistics and Bilingual Multicultural Education, and a BA in Spanish and Early Elementary Montessori Certificate. Prior to becoming an elected official, Oberly worked as the Coordinator of Ute Language and Culture at the Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy and an instructor for the American Indian Language Development Institute at the University of Arizona.


“I look forward to serving the tribal membership with clear communication, to create unity and transparency, while adhering to our traditional and cultural ethics,”  Her hobbies include making moccasins, ribbon skirts and shirts, singing Sundance and gourd dance songs, and taking her family on adventures.


Dr. Oberly is the daughter of Mary Inez Cloud and Pete Rivera, and the mother of three children.

Chairman Baker has chosen Council Member Bruce Valdez to serve as his Vice Chairman. The Executive Office appointment will be announced in the coming days. Until the announcement is made, Executive Officer Barbara Scott-Rarick will remain in the role through the transition.



20201220 – Southern Ute Indian Tribe swears in new tribal officials (FINAL)