Year in review: Top 15 news trends of 2013

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1. Last year’s flagship news item was health care. After years of conversation and study, the tribe announced it would provide health insurance cards to tribal members and begin expanding services at the Southern Ute Health Center.
2. The biggest Tri-Ute Games ever took place over the summer at the SunUte Community Center and in other locations around town. It was the second time the Southern Ute Tribe has hosted the games.
3. The Drum’s top news trends for 2011 and 2012 both included wildfires burning across the state, but the fall of 2013 saw the opposite environmental problem: heavy and sustained rainstorms led to flooding and damage to many forest roads on the reservation.
4. Ignacio welcomed the start or finish of several projects that will be among the biggest in the town’s skyline, including new public schools and the Growth Fund II office building.
5. 2013 was a year that saw many of the tribe’s youth developing leadership qualities with the help of the Education Department and others.
6. Don’t let anyone tell you that they’ve lost a step with age: Southern Ute veterans were a vibrant force in the community in 2013, carrying the flags at many events and sharing their accumulated wisdom with local students.
7. Power plans, train rides and coal mines, oh my! Southern Ute students took trips last year to some of the coolest places around.
8. You only get one shot at a centennial celebration, and the Southern Ute Tribe and Town of Ignacio teamed up to make it a year to remember.
9. Last year saw both the growth of budding auteurs within the tribe – the Boys & Girls Club screened a documentary on sacred tobacco early in the year – and interest from elsewhere, as when Rocky Mountain PBS came to town during the Bear Dance to film an episode in its Colorado Experience series.
10. Last year, numerous youth events resounded a collective message: Bullies are not welcome here.
11. The tribe’s Water Quality Program was the subject of several Drum pieces. In 2013, these guys worked hard to ensure tribal waters will be healthy and whole for years to come.
12. Ian Doughty to Pepperdine for baseball. Michelle Simmons to Fort Lewis for basketball. And others. In 2013, several young tribal athletes proved they were good enough to take their game to the next level.
13. 2013 was a banner year for events at the Sky Ute Casino Resort, including a boxing match in which Southern Ute descendant Kenny Lemos narrowly lost to former heavyweight champion James “Lights Out” Toney.
14. Whether it was at the state level signing an agreement on reburial of remains or at the federal level getting answers from Congressmen and U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs officials about service issues, the tribe made sure it was treated with the respect afforded to other sovereign nations.
15. Long before their high school years even begin, younger athletes in basketball and volleyball stole headlines this year with excellent performances.
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Mel Baker | SU Drum Archive
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Ace Stryker | Southern Ute Drum
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
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Last year saw the Southern Ute Indian Tribe strengthening many of its longstanding traditions, such as exercising tribal sovereignty and honoring our veterans, while adding new and exciting elements to life on the reservation. Monsoons in the fall brought a change of pace ­– though equally challenging – from the wildfires of recent years, the Tri-Ute Games drew more young athletes than ever before, and the Tribal Council, after years of deliberation, made the biggest news of the year when it announced the tribe would begin providing health insurance cards to its members. For the full list of the top news trends of 2013, see page 6.

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