Tribes celebrate natural resources

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Jr. Miss Southern Ute Autumn Sage greets the NAFWS attendees while Southern Ute Chairman Christine Sage, Miss Southern Ute Lorraine Watts and Southern Ute Brave Dominick Goodtracks watch on.
“Muz” Pinnecoose focuses on his target.
Raymond Lucero draws back his arrow while lining up his shot, while competing in the ‘Friendly Archery Competition’ on Wednesday.
Ernest “Muz” Pinnecoose draws his arrow back while shooting in the ‘Friendly Archery Competition’ held on his property.
Southern Ute Wildlife Biologist Aran Johnson shoots a compound bow during the archery competition.
A traditional feast was held for the NAFWS on Tuesday, Aug. 14 in the Multi-Purpose Facility where the meal was prepared by “Diane’s Tortilla Burger” and hosted by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.
Southern Ute Bear Dance Chief Matthew Box gave a presentation and sang songs for the NAFWS from the Bear Dance ceremony.
The Southern Ute Heritage Dancers provided the entertainment at the traditional feast on Tuesday, Aug. 14.
Jace Carmenoros smiles for the camera while bear dancing on Tuesday, August 14 in the Multi-Purpose Facility.
Southern Ute veteran Rod Grove makes some quick conversation with Tom Alires before the opening ceremony begins on Monday, Aug. 13.
After providing the invocation, Sun Dance Chief Hanley Frost stands while the flags are brought in by the Southern Ute Veterans Association at the opening ceremony.
Southern Ute Councilwoman and Treasurer Lorelei Cloud stands while the national anthem is sung at the opening ceremony on Monday, August 13.
Southern Ute Chairman Christine Sage welcomes the NAFWS on Monday, August 13 in the Sky Ute Casino Resort.
Southern Ute tribal elder, Dr. Jim Jefferson offered a prayer and a blessing for the Wildlife Enforcement Officers prior to the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society (NAFWS) Regional Conference pistol shoot, at the newly remodeled Southern Ute Pistol & Rifle Range, Wednesday, Aug. 15.
Natural Resources Enforcement Tribal Ranger, Wesley Hanna explains the scoring system utilized during the shoot.
Wildlife Enforcement Officers from various tribes were represented during the pistol shoot, pictured here hanging their respective targets.
Ignacio Police Department Officer, Ryan Boyce and Southern Ute Police Department Sergeant, Rim Fay were recruited to be the official scorers of the pistol shoot. The top 5 shooters will represent the SW region at the National Shooting Competition in Gila River.
Southern Ute Natural Resources Enforcement Tribal Ranger, Babe Gallegos along with fellow Natural Resources Enforcement officers take aim at their targets from 25 yards.
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
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The Native American Fish and Wildlife Society (NAFWS) returned to Ignacio, Colo. for their 32nd Annual Southwest Regional Conference that was hosted by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. This year’s conference started on Monday, August 13 and ended Thursday, August 16. The NAFWS is a non-profit organization that assists Native Americans and Native tribes with the assistance and management of fish and wildlife resources.

To officially welcome the participants, Southern Ute Chairman Christine Sage attended the opening ceremony of the conference and encouraged everyone to establish working ties and significant networks that would benefit them and the Native populations they serve, as well as the resources they protect.

The conference this year emphasized the theme of “Strengthening our values by reconnecting to the land” by coordinating workshops, exhibitions and meetings in a full four-day agenda.

This regional meeting brought tribal officers and management together to work alongside one another in an effort to educate and advise the general welfare of various fish and wildlife organizations.

In addition to the workshops, the conference offered hands on learning experiences that combined traditional classroom learning with outdoor field sessions that helped individuals to become even more involved with the different aspects of natural resource management.

“I am honored to share my knowledge and skills to the Native American youth in attendance today,” Southern Ute Wildlife Fishery Biologist Ben Zimmerman stated about his time spent with the youth out at Scott’s pond on Wednesday, August 15.

Youth were one of the many focuses this year, so as to get them even more engaged, the Mescalero Tribe and the U.S. Forest Service teamed up with Southern Ute Wildlife. Together they helped youth from varying tribes absorb information about water sampling and surveying fish, vegetation and birds, while out at Scott’s Pond.

When they weren’t spending the day in work sessions, conference participants were encouraged to partake in the various shoot competitions that were hosted by the Southern Ute Tribal Rangers and the Wildlife Resource Management Division.

“For a number of years, the archery shoot hasn’t been included and so this year I thought it would be a good idea to bring it back,” Southern Ute Wildlife Biologist, Aran Johnson stated about the Friendly Archery Shoot Competition that was held this year at Ernest “Muz” Pinnecoose’s property.

Overall, the conference was a time to remember that, by protecting tribal sovereignty through managing resources that balance economic developments, tribes will create new ways to engage and positively impact the youth.

 

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