A tribute for Alden Naranjo Jr.

Alden Burch Naranjo
Lindsay Box | Tribal Council Affairs

Congressional Record – Extensions of Remarks

May 22, 2020

E475

 

ALDEN BURCH NARANJO, JR. TRIBUTE

HON. SCOTT R. TIPTON

OF COLORADO IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Friday, May 22,2020

 

Mr. TIPTON. Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor Alden Burch Naranjo, Jr. of Ignacio, Colorado, a leader within the Southern Ute Tribe who recently passed away. Alden attended Ute Vocational School and later graduated from St Catherine’s Indian School in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

After pursuing his education, Alden enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and served his country honorably. His service to others continued following the Vietnam War, when he transitioned into a career with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe which spanned 40 years. Alden served as the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Coordinator, working to ensure federal laws protect Native American lineal descendants with respect to the treatment, repatriation, and disposition of Native American human remains and culturally important objects were implemented. He also served as a police officer, staffer for the Division of Wildlife, probation officer, and historian.

He was also a member of Keepers of the Treasures, which predated NAGPRA-and a spiritual leader for tribal members. This role sent him around the world to educate people on Native American rights, spirituality, and culture. Alden also held the role of President of the Native American Church of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation and the United States Chapters. In what free time he had, he was a traditional Sun Dancer and took great pride in his Native American heritage.

He will be sorely missed by his large extended family, the entire Southern Ute Tribe, and State of Colorado. Madam Speaker, Alden’s death is a loss for not only the Southern Ute Tribe but for the entire State of Colorado, and all of us who value the rich culture and historical heritage he worked so passionately throughout his life to share. Alden’s legacy will be remembered and live on for generations to come.

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