BEE HEARD: Fatherhood is Sacred Walk, June 16

Photo Credit: Native Connections

Native American men are important. In our Native American culture, we are taught many things about life, mother earth, connections, communication, ceremonies, and much more. A part of this discussion is how important each person, man, woman, child, and elder plays a role in our society and how we all have a time, space, and purpose in our family’s structure.  

Due to many risk factors, our Native American men have been hit hard with historical and family trauma, alcoholism, other drug addictions, neglect, and many other things that have made it difficult for them to hold their place in our families and community as healthy male role models. We need our fathers in so many ways. We count on them for social, emotional, traditional, and spiritual support and protection. We are calling on every single person in our community to show support for our fathers and to help our men become healthy Native American fathers that will help raise and support healthy children and families. Let’s come together and celebrate those who are doing a great job being role models and those who are struggling, but want to find their way. Let show each other how important men are to the survival of our traditions and our people.  

We invite you to the Fatherhood is Sacred Walk on Wednesday, June 16. The Southern Ute Division of Social Services, the Southern Ute Behavioral Health Division, the Southern Ute Boys and Girls Club, the Southern Ute Culture Preservation Department, the SunUte Community Center, and many more tribal departments and programs invite you to come and walk with us to not only honor our Native American men, but to also encourage them to keep striving to be healthy fathers and relatives to our people.  

We need you. We need them. We welcome you to wear your traditional attire or beadwork (not required) and meet us in front of the Southern Ute Tribal Council Chambers where we will take a healthy one mile walk to show our support to one another but most of all to our Native American men.  

On June 16 there will be two in-person walks available, one at noon and the other at 3 pm. 50 participants per walk maximum and please help us protect each other by bringing your mask.  

If you can’t make it to the in-person walk, please feel free to join us virtually on June 16 and take a stroll in your neighborhood or local park. Use the #SUITFatherhood2021 to show your support for our Native American men.  To help us keep track of participants, please register for either the in-person or virtual walking events by going to:  

Looking for ways to improve your fathering abilities? One of the biggest barriers people don’t ask for help is because they don’t know who to ask or where to start. There are amazing services and people who can give you tips on how to improve your abilities to be a healthy father or male role model. The Southern Ute Division of Social Services is a great place to start or you can also reach out to the Southern Ute Behavioral Health Division. We both have great professionals who you can ask advice from or even learn healthy ways to cope with stressors of fatherhood. To reach the Southern Ute Division of Social Services, please call 970-563-2335 or you can reach the Southern Ute Behavioral Health Division at 970-563-5700.

Are you ready to help create a drug-free community?

Want to help and be a part of the change? We are looking for community members and youth to join the Prevention Coalition tasked to reduce youth substance usage, eliminate mental health stigma, and start the discussion around suicide and prevention.  

We have monthly coalition meetings and workshops to help our community understand the real story behind alcohol, meth, opioids, vaping, marijuana, and other drugs in our community. We need your help! All meeting are held virtually.  

For more information please contact Precious Collins, Native Connections Program Coordinator for more information 970-563-5700 or email

Upcoming Training or Events: 

FREE online Suicide Prevention Training: Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) for Southern Ute Tribe Employees, and Southern Ute Tribal Members. Let’s all learn the warning signs and what to do if someone is experiencing a crisis.  

For more information please contact Precious Collins, Native Connections Program Coordinator for more information 970-563-5700 or email  

Native American Youth Talking Circles: A virtual space for youth to meet, talk, and share challenges and accomplishments. Peer support system for Native American Youth in 9-12 grade. 

Please contact Stephanie Garcia at 970-563-5700 or email or Lisa Pratchett at to sign up. 

Local Resources: 

  • Southern Ute Health Center- Behavioral Health Division, NEW LOCATION AND PHONE NUMBER! 4101 CR 222 Durango, Co 970-563-5700. For local Native Americans. We are here to support mental health, substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery. Please call to schedule an appointment to talk to someone.   
  • Southern Ute- Division of Social Services 116 Capote Drive, Ignacio, CO 970-563-2331 or for local Native Americans needing assistance with child welfare needs and family support.  
  • Southern Ute Police Department- Anonymous Tip Hotline Do you have information about a crime? 
  • Please call (970) 563-4999. This “Tip Line” was designed to allow you the ability to provide law enforcement with information, anonymously if need be, regarding criminal, drug, or suspicious activity. The “Tip Line” is monitored around the clock by SUPD Investigators, but it DOES NOT replace 9-1-1 or the non-emergency police number (970) 563-4401. 
  • St Ignatius Catholic Church, Pastor Cesar Arras, 14826 CO-172, Ignacio, CO 970-563-4241. 
  • Ignacio Community Church, Pastor Randall Haynes 405 Browning Ave, Ignacio, CO (currently located inside ELHI) 970-759-3633  
  • Second Wind Fund of the Four Corners, believes that every child and youth at risk of suicide should have access to the mental health treatment they need. We match children and youth at risk for suicide with licensed therapists in their communities, 720-962-0706. 
  • Women’s Resource Center, creates personal, social, and professional growth opportunities for all women in La Plata County, 970-247-1242. 

 State or National Resources- All are 24/7 

  • 24/7 Axis Crisis Line – SW Colorado 970-247-5245 or Text 741741 
  • Colorado Crisis Line 844-493-8255 or Text “TALK” to 38255. You’ll immediately be put in contact with a trained counselor, ready to text with you about anything. 
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has both an online chat and a 24/7 phone line at 1-800-273-8255 if you are thinking of suicide or need help for a loved one. 
  • The Trevor Project which seeks to serve LGBT youth, has a 24/7 suicide prevention line at 866-488-7386. 
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