Southern Ute Tribe honors Golden Age

Ute Mountain Ute tribal elder, Thomas House thanks Tara Vigil, the Cultural Preservation Events Coordinator at the Ute Nations Day Celebration.
Southern Ute tribal elders and Southern Ute veteran, Randy Baker Sr. shakes hands with Southern Ute Brave, Levi Lopez after receiving his gift.
All Elders from the Southern Ute, Ute Mountain and Ute Indian Tribes who were recognized at this year’s Ute Nations Day gather for a group picture.
Austin Box proudly reps his “Ute Land” shirt at the Ute Nations Day Celebration held on Thursday, May 23.
Southern Ute tribal elder, Alden Naranjo talks to the elders in attendance about respect and of their importance in Ute traditions and culture.
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum

To kick off Bear Dance weekend on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation the Cultural Preservation Department held their annual Ute Nations Day, and this year’s theme was Honoring the Ute Golden Age. Ute elders from all three Ute tribes were in attendance to be honored.

Following past Ute Nations Days, whose themes were Honoring Bear Dance Chiefs in 2018 and Ute Tribal Council Women in 2017. Each theme is chosen to honor an aspect of Ute life, culture, government, or service and celebrate those individuals for their contribution to the three Ute Tribes.

Southern Ute tribal elder, Alden Naranjo was the guest speaker, speaking first in Ute, and welcoming everyone in attendance.

“Not three tribes, but good morning to all the Ute nation, we are all related one way or another,” said Naranjo “We are fortunate to have our elders, because elders are the ones that are the role models for the younger people.”

Naranjo talked about how important elders are in the preservation of Ute culture and traditions.

There were 80 tribal elders from Southern Ute recognized, 63 from the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and 164 from the Ute Indian Tribe of Utah. The names of each of the honored elders were announced and they could come up and receive their gift, a blanket with each tribal seal on it. Southern Ute Royalty and the Culture Preservation Department handed out the blankets and greeted each of the elders in attendance.

“That concludes Ute Nations Day this year, thank everybody for coming out and I hope you enjoy what we gave to you,” said Tara Vigil, Culture Preservation Events Coordinator for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.

As Ute Nations Day ended, all the honored elders from each tribe gathered for a group picture.

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