(As presented at the Tri-Ute Games)
A poem by Tanaya Winder
Wake up, greet the sun, and pray
Burn cedar, sweet grass, sage –
sacred herbs to honor the lives we’ve been given,
for we have been gifted these ways since the beginning of time.
Remember, when you step into the arena of your life
think about those who stand beside you, next to, and with you
Your ancestors are always in your corner, along with your people
When we enter this world we are born hungry,
our spirits long for us to live out our traditions
that have been passed down for generations.
Prayer, ceremony, dance, language – our Ute ways of being.
Never forget you were put on this earth for a reason –
Honor your ancestors.
Be a good person, be who you are, be a good relative
We are strong, beautiful and unique.
We are a part of a great legacy,
carrying on traditions through the centuries.
We support each other, our sister tribes,
together (nana-ma) is the way we thrive.
We are a part of a family that never dies,
but endures into the spirit world.
We honor our ancestors by honoring our spirits in song, ceremony, and prayer.
We honor our bodies when we dance or play on the field or court.
We challenge and push ourselves to keep our culture living because we are alive.
We live, we love, we pray, we honor our ancestors
by embracing the strength and resilience that lives in our bones.
Our blood flows ancestral, Ute strong, coursing through our veins like rivers
reminding us to be who we are meant to be – brave, warriors who have survived.