Letter from the Editor

Photo Credit: Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum


 The Southern Ute Drum newspaper garnered numerous awards for journalistic excellence, quality design and professional reporting & photography. Media Manager Jeremy Wade Shockley, Composition Technician Robert L. Ortiz, Public Relations Coordinator Trennie Collins and Photographer/reporter Maria Rivera all earned awards for exemplary news coverage in 2017.

The Colorado Press Association (CPA) awarded the newspaper two First Place awards: One for Best Sports Events Story — “Drawback to your roots,” by Maria Rivera, and the other for Best Photo Essay — “Bear Dancing on the Uintah & Ouray Reservation,” by Jeremy Wade Shockley.

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Colorado awarded the newspaper with a total of five media awards. The Southern Ute Drum staff earned the Second Place award in General Website Excellence for the newspaper’s online content.

Robert L. Ortiz garnered two First Place awards: Feature Page Design — “Bear Dance and Memorial Day Special Section,” and News Photography — “Ute Mountain Ute Casino Powwow.” Trennie Collins took home a Third Place award in Spot News Photography — “Escalante Hosts Bowker Games.” Jeremy Wade Shockley won First Place for Spot News Photography — “Southern Ute Tribal Fair and Powwow,” Shockley also earned a Third Place award in the category Breaking News Story — “Ute Council Tree: Witness to History.”

The Drum staff will travel to the Native American Journalism Association (NAJA) conference later this summer, where the newspaper will compete in the annual media awards for professional publications working in Indian Country.


The Southern Ute Drum launched social media accounts this year in an effort to expand readership across platforms and publish content in a way that is both relevant and timely in the age of New Media.

The Drum can be found on Twitter and Instagram @SouthernUteDrum. The social media accounts are an extension of the newspaper’s online presence, aimed at reaching a broader demographic of readers, while also engaging with tribal youth in a way that is in step with the times.

Social ‘share’ buttons are also embedded with each online news story at, to better facilitate sharing of articles and photographs with personal social media accounts. The Drum will also continue to share top stories and news coverage on the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Facebook page.

The broad reach of these social media accounts will help to inform, educate and bring awareness to news related coverage — focused on the tribal membership, culture and community that we highlight in our reporting. Simply put, these platforms offer another means of communication in the age of social media.


The newspaper has expanded its distribution points and rolled out a new line of delivery racks. The new weather proof newspaper racks allow us to distribute our newspapers outside of businesses, thus increasing our circulation points in the region. The Southern Ute Drum is now available at additional locations in Ignacio: Thriftway, 7/11, and SunUte Community Recreation Center. The paper is now available at Brenda’s Café in Bayfield. Distribution points for Durango include: Fort Lewis College — Center for Southwest Studies and the FLC Student Union, and downtown Durango at Magpies Newsstand.

Potential venues for the newspaper also include United States Post Office (USPS) locations in Durango, Bayfield and Ignacio with outside distribution racks.

Subscriptions to the Drum are free for Southern Ute tribal members, subscription requests and address changes must be directed to the newspaper, updates are made prior to each publication date.

The eEditions, or digital PDF versions, of the printed newspaper are also still available online — free of charge. Navigate to eEditions in the menu bar to view the most recent issue at






To top