Fri Jun 9th, 2017
The Southern Ute Drum
Tags: Cassandra Naranjo, Edward Box III, Elijah Weaver, Northern Ute, Ouray Day, Southern Ute, Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum, Southern Ute Cultural Department, Sunshine Cloud Smith, Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Council, Ute Mountain Ute, Ute Nations Day
Members of Northern Ute, Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute tribes gathered in celebration for the annual Ute Nations Day hosted by the Southern Ute Cultural Department on Friday, May 26 at the Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum.
This year the Cultural Department honored all current and previous councilwomen from the three tribes for their work and contributions within their tribal government and community. Each tribal councilwoman received a gift and certificate of appreciation from the Cultural Department and the Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Council. The event began with an introduction by acting Youth Advisory Chairman Elijah Weaver, who gave a short presentation on the life and legacy of former councilwoman Sunshine Cloud Smith.
NAGPRA Coordinator, Cassandra Naranjo followed with a speech on the importance of Ute women and their role in the household as mothers and providers in the domestic sense. “I am proud to see women serve on council, to see how women are an influence,” Naranjo said, a speaker for Ute Nations Day, “We are very honored to have you in our lives.”
“Originally called Ouray Day, the Southern Ute Cultural Department reestablished the event under the name Ute Nations Day with focus on a different theme every year,” Cultural Department Director Edward Box III said. The theme is chosen to honor an aspect of Ute life, culture, government, or service and celebrate those individuals for their contribution to the three Ute tribes. Upon the event’s reestablishment as Ute Nations Day, tribal elders were honored in 2011, Veterans were honored in 2012, and the service of three individuals within the Ute tribe in 2013. In 2014, the Tribal Police forces were honored, Tribal Royalty was honored in 2015 and the Ute-Comanche treaty signed in 1700’s was recognized in 2016.
Councilwomen and their families expressed gratitude and relief to see councilwomen be honored. According to many previous Councilwomen and their family representatives, there has never been an event to honor the councilwomen in the past. It was a long time coming — expressed many of the councilwomen upon receiving their gift.
Northern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute councilwomen ended their speeches, expressing gratitude towards the Southern Ute Tribe and the Cultural Department for recognizing and supporting women in council positions. Many would also give words of wisdom to the Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Council and all future women who will become leaders for the tribe and the community.