Fri Apr 1st, 2016
Robert L. Ortiz
The Southern Ute Drum
Tags: Amy Barry, Chairman Clement Frost, Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs, Councilman Melvin J. Baker, Councilwoman Amy J. Barry, Councilwomen DeAnne Wall, Deanna Wall, Denver, Ernest House Jr., History Colorado, Juanita PlentyHoles, Mel Baker, Priscilla Blackhawk-Rentz, Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, Southern Ute Chairman Clement J. Frost, Tri-Ute Council, Tyson Thompson, Ute Mountain Ute Vice-chairwoman Juanita Plentyholes, Whiteriver Band Rep. Tony Small
On Thursday, March 24 the State of Colorado recognized the seven Ute bands that make up the three Ute Tribes today.
Colorado Senator, Ellen Roberts (R) said, “It’s an honor to bring this resolution before the Senate each year, recognizing the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Utes” Roberts added, “We are fortunate to have their rich heritage here in Colorado.”
The Colorado State Senate recognized Southern Ute Chairman Clement J. Frost, Councilwoman Amy J. Barry and Little Miss Southern Ute Krystyn Weaver during a joint Resolution 24 “Honoring Colorado Ute Indians,” before the Senate, adopted by the Colorado State Senate on April 14.
Weaver sounded the gavel bringing the Senate back into session after a brief recess was called to welcome and meet the representatives of the Southern Ute Tribe.
The Tri-Ute, third quarterly meeting took place in History Colorado Center, Thursday, March 24 in Denver, Colorado. The meeting was attended by representatives of the three Ute Tribes, Southern Ute Chairman Clement J. Frost, Councilwoman Amy J. Barry and Councilman Melvin J. Baker; Ute Mountain Ute Vice-chairwoman Juanita Plentyholes, Councilwomen DeAnne Wall, Priscilla Blackhawk-Rentz, and Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk; and Whiteriver Band Rep. Tony Small of the Northern Ute Tribe was also in attendance.
Tri-Ute Services MOU
A topic of mutual concern is the Tri-Ute Services MOU. The discussion of the MOU is for services available for other Ute members who live on the sister-tribes reservations.
Services include health care, emergency housing, groceries, wood and burial services. The Southern Ute Tribe allows a cord of wood for other Ute tribal members, providing the other tribe pays for the wood.
Treasurer of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, DeAnne Wall spoke of how funding will be made available.
“Some of these services are funded through grants, how do we process these through our statement of work, are we to utilize our dollars, where will we get the dollars for additional services,” she said.
The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe asked for the Executive Directors to be made available for future meetings about discussions of additional services for other Ute tribal members.
Northern Ute Business Committee member, Tony Small expressed that the Ute Tribe Executive Officer would like to meet with the other Ute Tribe’s Executive Directors, “To talk about the services, as it’s been far too long. We need a date so at the next meeting we can have something we can pass.”
Southern Ute Chairman Clement J. Frost also said he would like to see the Executive Directors to meet between now and the next [Tri-Ute] meeting slated tto take place in Towaoc in June, to work out specifics in regards to services that can be provided.
“We have an outline now that we can utilize as a starting point, that a budget can be created by each tribe,” Frost said.
Temporary employment also was discussed. Small said they utilize grant money for any Federally recognized member can utilize services such as food distribution, and adult work programs.
Plentyholes, stated in regards to employment a Ute Mountain Ute is first preference, spouses, and members of the Northern and Southern Ute and direct descendants have preference.
Southern Ute Councilwoman Amy Barry mentioned that the tribe passed a mandate stating, “you will hire tribal members for temporary positions that are not key positions, or do not require professional certification.”
“This is something that can be addressed through our TERO code, how our preference can evolve to meet the needs our sister tribes,” Barry said.
Frost offered that request of notices of information from other Ute tribes can be made through The Southern Ute Drum newspaper, and KSUT Tribal Radio. Plentyholes said notices can be sent through their Weenuche media center, and Smalls added that tribal news from other tribes can be sent through the audio/visual department of the Northern Ute tribe.
Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Council
The Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Council (SCSYAC) made a presentation of the background, mission of SCSYAC and various events they had attended this past year. The youth council spoke of Sunshine Cloud Smith and her achievements that resulted in her name being used for the youth council.
Three new members were recently sworn into the youth council, Secretary Allisianna Baker, Christina Herrera and D’vondra Garcia. The Tri-Ute meeting was their first formal meeting for the new members.
The youth council were well received by the Tri-Ute council members, and those in attendance, giving praise and admiration for their accomplishments and what they plan to do in the future as a youth council.
Alden Naranjo, thanked them for choosing his great-aunt’s name on behalf of the Box family. For who she was and what she stood for.
History Colorado gave a presentation of the new expansion project on the Ute Museum in Montrose, Colo. History Colorado has a new board of trustees, helping get financial in line, with a budget, searching for new executive director, Deputy Director, Steve Turner.
In 2013 the state allocated $2.4 million to support renovation of the museum.
The museum closed in August 2015, and a groundbreaking was held in December 2015, and construction began. The museum is currently under construction, and exhibits planned. For those interested in what the museum will look like when completed the History Colorado Center in Denver has a mock layout of what the museum will look like.
Construction will continue from May through December 2016, and the gift shop will be opened in November. From January through May 2017 the museum will begin installing exhibits, with the hopes of exhibits being opened in June 2017.
The museum also requested financial support from the Ute tribes $75,000 as a combined request of the three tribes, for permanent exhibition galleries of the three tribes. Additional financial support has also been requested from the City of Montrose, various foundations and private contributors to the expansion of the museum.
Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs, Ernest House Jr. offered support, “We think it’s a great step forward as the National Museum of American Indian is supported by the three Ute Tribes, this museum will be highlighted and as impactful as the museum is to the D.C. area,” House said.
Alden Naranjo commended History Colorado and all those who have worked on this project.
“This dream is coming to the point we can say, ‘this is our museum,’ it will depict our life and history, of who we are and our accomplishments,” Naranjo said.
• Tax Exemption is still being sought for Southern Ute tribal members in the town of Ignacio.
• A skate park and additional youth services are in the works through a youth initiative.
• A transition agreement between the tribe and the Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum is currently being worked on.
Ute Mountain Ute:
• The Language Committee is currently working on a dictionary, utilizing recordings.
• Currently building 10 housing units for tribal members.
• Meth use has become an issue, and now testing for meth-use in house will result in a zero-tolerance eviction.
• The new Justice Center will be opening after seven years of planning and construction.
The Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs meeting was held in the History Colorado Center, on March 25. Lt. Governor Joseph Garcia, who will be ending his term in April, chaired the meeting.
Updates from the two Ute tribes were given. Southern Ute Tribal Chairman spoke of the Super Fund being sought after the Gold King Mine spill into the Animas River.
Frost also spoke of the Southern Ute Cultural Center & Museum collections and exhibits being inventoried as part of the transition agreement between the museum and the tribe.
Ute Mountain Ute Vice-chairwoman Juanita Plentyholes spoke of the Brunot Agreement and also an advocacy protocol for funding to provide more services to their tribal members.
‘Films by Youths Inside’ is getting recognition for their short-film “Escape,” as the crew is invited to a film festival in Los Angeles.
CCIA is encouraging the town of Ignacio to work with the Southern Ute Tribe on recognizing the sales tax exemption for tribal members.
Garcia steps down
The soon to be Lt. Governor of Colorado, Donna Lynne, a Kaiser Permanente executive was selected by Gov. John Hickenlooper to be his next lieutenant governor – Lynne was introduced to the CCIA committee.
Lynne, 62, currently is executive vice president of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, and group president responsible for Kaiser’s Colorado, Pacific Northwest and Hawaii regions.
Lynn spoke of her new venture, “It’s an honor to serve in government, elected we make big sacrifices, as we do the right thing for our citizens,” she said. “I am looking forward to the next quarterly meeting.”
Garcia will step down to become president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, helping to guide colleges and universities in 16 states.
Garcia was given a custom designed Pendleton blanket from the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, and a hand drum, featuring the new CCIA logo, was given to Garcia on behalf of the Southern Ute Tribe. An honor song was sung by Southern Ute Councilman Tyson Thompson before handing the drum to Garcia.
CCIA’s Executive Director Ernest House Jr. and tribal representatives have had countless, successful and respectful meetings with Colorado towns who have school mascots deemed racist to Native Americans. The Governor’s Commission to Study American Indian Representations in Public Schools (CSAIRPS) most recently met with Eaton High School in Eaton, Colo. The open forum included local administration, faculty, students and community members.
The legislative process has begun as the CSAIRPS finishes work on the study. The report is due to the Senate by April 15, the study will include an overview in a final report to include recommendations to the Colorado Senate.
‘Once a savage, always a savage’ was expressed upon by Ute Mounatin Ute Vice-chairwoman, Juanita Plentyholes “those who are not native do not know the impact of these statements,” Plentyholes said.
The need to continue to engage with these communities to educate and share Native American concerns towards these mascots needs to be addressed.
“We need to provide the proper, correct information about educating these students,” said Plentyholes.
House Bill 16-1135, was discussed which expresses concerns to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day, which is supported by the Ute Tribes, has been assigned to the House for comment.