SOUTHERN UTE INDIAN TRIBE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 15, 2015
For more information please contact:
Clement J. Frost, Chairman – (970) 563-0100
Tribal Chairman Clement J. Frost announced today that the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council is developing proposed constitutional amendments and considering whether to submit those amendments for vote by the tribal membership.
The proposed changes focus on a narrow issue within the Constitution, specifically whether the Tribe needs to get approval from the federal government for tribal actions. Currently, there are several provisions in the Tribe’s Constitution requiring Bureau of Indian Affairs approval of tribal actions, even though federal law does not require BIA approval, and the amendments developed by the Tribal Council are aimed at removing those requirements. For example, the Tribe’s annual budget must be submitted to the Secretary of the Interior for approval and laws passed by the Tribal Council on a variety of topics require BIA approval.
In discussing these proposed amendments, Chairman Frost stated, “For many years, the Tribal Council has been working to expand its own role and diminish the role of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and other federal agencies in the management of the Tribe’s affairs. Compliance with the BIA approval requirements causes unnecessary delays in implementing tribal decisions and laws. These amendments are needed to reflect the Tribe’s capability of making its own decisions without Bureau of Indian Affairs oversight and to help modernize the Tribe’s Constitution.”
The Tribal Council will hold a special general meeting from 9:00 a.m.- 12:00 noon on May 14, 2015 to discuss these potential amendments with the membership and will be sending a copy of the proposed amendments to all tribal members over age 18. The Tribal Council will also be making copies of the proposed amendments available to tribal members on the Tribe’s website and through the Tribe’s Tribal Information Services Department at the Leonard C. Burch Tribal Affairs Building, 563-0100, ext. 2208. Chairman Frost indicated that the Tribal Council would like for all tribal members of voting age to review the proposed amendments and provide comments or ask questions at the upcoming special general meeting or send comments to email@example.com or 563-0100. The location of the special meeting will be announced.