Southern Ute Chairman Clement J. Frost and Councilman Adam Red attended the quarterly Tri-Ute meeting hosted by the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe on Thursday, June 1. The three Ute Tribes met to discuss shared concerns, services, and events. The tribes also discussed the need to demonstrate support for each other, creating a stronger stance on issues that might require lobbying on local, State, and Federal levels.
Dialogue began related to shared services between the tribes, discussing how each Tribe could show support to the other Ute Tribal Members residing on their reservation. Enrolled members of each tribe have access to programs and services on their reservation, yet when tribal members choose to move to another reservation, the program and resources available to them such as housing, employment, financial services, and education shrink.
Southern Ute Executive Officer, Ramona Eagle explained that in 2013 and 2014 the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute tribal councils signed a resolution, agreeing to identify which shared services to make available to other enrolled Ute Tribal Members. Tri-Ute members agreed each tribe should begin work on a cost-share budget and reimbursement procedures for the proposed shared services. Newly elected Uintah & Ouray Tribal Chairman, Luke Duncan, committed to readdress their involvement.
A lengthy discussion was held related to Lake Nighthorse and the concerns of the Ute tribes. The leadership unanimously disagreed on the use of motorized boats on the lake, but welcomed the idea of recreation. “Recreational activities are not the only concern. As the three Ute Tribes who signed the Brunot Treaty Agreement, we have to remember that the land associated with that treaty exists around Lake Nighthorse. The expansion of housing has potential to impact the acreage associated with the Brunot Agreement,” Chairman Frost said. All in attendance believed that the Brunot Treaty agreement should be upheld and should housing developments extend into the acreage included in the agreement, the acreage should be made up in other areas.
The upcoming North American Indigenous Games, Tri-Ute Youth Leadership Conference, and upcoming reservation events were also agenda items. Ute Mountain Ute Councilwoman DeAnne House spoke of two films Ute Mountain Ute Youth have written, directed, and performed and would like to see Southern Ute and Northern Ute youth participate in an upcoming youth-driven film.
The next Tri-Ute meeting will be hosted by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe during the Southern Ute Tribal Fair in September of 2017.