The Southern Ute Indian Tribe honored men from four tribes for service to their respective communities during the annual Ute Nations Day, which took place this year on Friday, May 24 at the Bear Dance Grounds.
Receiving recognition from the Southern Ute Indian Tribe was Bonny Kent, a former Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council member, tribal range rider and game warden. Kent died in 1989. His grandson, Councilman Alex Cloud, accepted the award in his behalf.
“Bonny always put his people first, emphasizing the need to work together and the importance of always remembering where we come from, because that’s what makes our people the Nuchu,” the program stated.
The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe honored Henry Jacket Sr., a former councilman and U.S. Army veteran who died in 1985. Jacket designed the Ute Mountain Ute tribal seal in 1975 and was honored at last year’s Ute Nations Day for his work.
For the Northern Ute Tribe, the recognition went to Andrew Frank, a Sun Dance chief, medicine man and community leader. Frank established gardens in the early part of the 20th century to feed his people and stave off starvation.
The sole surviving tribal member to be honored was Wainwright Velarde of the Jicarilla Apache Nation. A former Jicarilla Tribal Council member, Velarde has worked against efforts to tax oil taken from reservation lands and helped establish a shrine for Geronimo, an Apache leader. Velarde is currently president of the Jicarilla Apache Culture Committee.