Fri Jun 27th, 2014
The Southern Ute Drum
Categories: Top Stories
The second Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs meeting of 2014 was held Friday, June 20 at the Ute Mountain Casino in Towaoc, Colo. Representatives of the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Tribes met with state officials to discuss updates from the past three months.
Southern Ute Vice Chairman, Mel Baker updated the commission on the signing of House Bill 1080 on the Mel Baker and the opening of the new dental and optical modular.
“It was a really historic moment for both Ute tribes and we were glad we got to host the governor for the signing,” he said. “Monday, June 2 we had our new dental and optical modular open, which is allowing the clinic to start renovating the vacated exam rooms in the clinic,” Baker continued. “ We have plans of building a whole new medical facility down the road but this is a good step towards that.”
Baker also reported that in recent work sessions tribal housing has been a topic of discussion.
“We are looking at housing needs for tribal members and tribal employees, he said.” We are working with the Town of Ignacio now, but our main focus are homes for the tribal membership.”
Baker then updated the commission on the success of Ute Nations Day and the Southern Ute Bear Dance.
“Our Culture Department put on a really nice recognition ceremony honoring tribal police from Southern Ute, Ute Mountain, Northern Ute and Jicarilla Apache,” Baker said. “ Bear Dance was a success as well.”
Southern Ute Chairman, Clement J. Frost brought up the topic of Medicaid for tribal member spouses who are non-Native.
“A tribal member came to me and told me their non-Native spouse is not eligible for Medicaid. Our insurance is geared to cover the tribal member, not the spouse,” Frost said. “ But the insurance is effecting the spouse because they are not able to receive Medicaid.”
The Medicaid representative assured Frost that the spouse should qualify and opted to talk to the chairman more in depth about the situation at a later time.
Colorado Lieutenant Governor Joseph Garcia surprised both tribes by presenting a Colorado state flag from Governor John Hickenlooper. The flag was given to the tribes to be flown at the Native American Indigenous Games next month in Regina, Canada.
Lastly, Troy A. Eid, chairman of Indian Law and Order Commission, brought criminal statistics among Native juveniles to the roundtable.
“Native Juveniles get tried as adults 33 percent of the time where as non-Native juveniles only get tried as an adults one percent of the time,” he said.
Eid also discussed the high PTSD, suicide and rape rates among Native youth.