The Hall of Warriors, in the Leonard C. Burch building, filled with Southern Ute tribal members, employees, and visiting dignitaries on Monday, Nov. 4, to celebrate the retirement of Southern Ute Chairman Clement J. Frost, and Councilwoman Amy J. Barry as their three-year terms came to an end.
The Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Council was among the first to offer thanks and congratulations to the outgoing leadership.
“I would like to thank Chairman Frost for the opportunity the Tribal Council gave us to travel to important events and be a voice there,” Elijah Weaver said. Sentiments echoed by fellow youth council member D’Vondra Garcia, “I want to thank Amy Barry for showing us how to be a leader and for being there for us.”
Members of the Southern Ute Tribal Council and the Executive Office each spoke in turn, both thanking and acknowledging Barry and Frost for their years of service.
“In a manner that is acceptable to everyone, Chairman Frost puts his people first. We are working hard to return this tribe to true sovereignty,” Councilman Kevin Frost said. “We don’t have many elders left to teach us why these decisions were made decades ago; this is one of our elders who understands that we didn’t have everything that we have today.”
“He has touched a lot of people’s lives,” Southern Ute Vice Chairman Alex Cloud said. “Growing up, he was a mentor to me.”
Executive Officer Ramona Eagle described Chairman Frost as having served with diligence, with patience and with love. “He has always found a way to make time to meet with the membership; he always provided insight and truth,” Eagle said.
Outgoing Councilwoman Amy J. Barry took to the podium to address the membership. “Today is not goodbye, we’ll see each other in the community” Barry said. “I am very proud of our youth — they are not our future — they are here today.”
“Amy brought a willingness and drive to work with our membership, our staff,” Vice Chairman Alex Cloud said, “She is going to pass that on to the next generation.” Cloud recognized the Yellow Jacket Singers for their Honor Songs. “I want to thank Tyson Thompson as an outgoing councilman too.” Thompson resigned from Tribal Council earlier this year in order to put his name on the 2017 election ballot.
The Chairman addressed his people.
“We are still standing strong here because of our tradition, our leadership,” Chairman Frost said. “Depend on your traditional culture to make your decisions today. We have never given up our sovereignty. Sovereignty is the way we live; your language is your strength.”
“As a leader; you’re not going in there to be liked, or for people to follow you — you’re going in there to lead,” Frost said.
“I’ve enjoyed all those years as a councilman, Vice Chairman and Chairman — I’ve come a long way from where I started in the 70’s. I feel good about stepping into retirement.”
Clement J. Frost served the Southern Ute Indian Tribe for 27 years in office. Frost now concludes his impressive political career, 16 years on Tribal Council, and 11 more as Chairman, Communications Specialist Lindsay Box stated — That of a leader who truly cares for his people.