Fri Sep 6th, 2013
Southern Ute Drum
Southern Ute Chairman Jimmy R. Newton Jr. announced the rollout of a new tribal website recently.
With the new site comes the tribe’s first tribal-member-only section. The site was designed with help from various departments that deal with tribal members’ information. The idea came from several Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council members who wanted to increase communication with the membership.
The site will allow members 18 and over to access sensitive information on a restricted part of the public website. Other tribes across the nation have incorporated a similar feature for their members.
“This is a way for our tribal members to receive information faster than they would through the mail,” Newton said. “There are so many possibilities that we can do with this website. It’s going to be exciting to see what we can do.”
Councilman Alex S. Cloud, whose platform included communication to the membership, said he sees this as a way for information about the organization to get to the membership more quickly.
“If we can incorporate all channels of communication that the tribe has access to, then we’ll be communicating the way we should,” he said.
But as with all communication channels, it’s a two-way street; members must also put in the effort to receive communication. Signing up for the website, attending tribally sanctioned meetings and reading the Drum are just a few ways tribal members can keep themselves informed.
With the implementation of the new website, members who have already signed up have said the website is long overdue.
“Great idea! The establishment of this website is a major step forward,” one tribal member said.
“This is a great idea,” said another.
One tribal member said they would like to discontinue receiving updates from the tribe in the mail and would only like to receive them electronically. The website and its administrators would like to see more people requesting information via email or on the website.
“By membership opting to receive their information electronically, it is an overall cost savings for the tribe,” Newton said, “which is something the council and administration have said they would alleviate at the beginning of the fiscal year.”
The creators of the website are still adding content. It’s possible to host audio and video in addition to text. One of the most-requested documents is council meeting minutes. Currently, staffers are being trained on how to upload and provide these documents to the users.
In the very near future there are big changes coming to the membership in regard to services provided, including health services. The Tribal Council plans to release information through every channel of communication available.
Staff members are also being trained on how to edit and upload video and audio to the website so users may listen to and view certain meetings at their leisure. The Tribal Council will have the final as to what content is placed on the website and would like to remind the membership that this a service provided to the them and asks that they respect the confidential and private nature of some content.
If you would like to sign up for the website, visit www.southernute-nsn.gov and proceed to the “Members” link and fill out the questions. The process takes 24-48 hours to verify the requests.
Your comments as a user are very much appreciated. Please provide feedback as to what you would like to see on the members-only website.