2016: The Top Ten

1. Cedar Point adds housing: The lack of housing on the reservation has long been a topic of discussion. But in 2016 we seen significant progress made by the tribe providing more housing options to the membership. The Cedar Point Housing Initiative Team hosted membership meetings on phase 1 of the need-based project, which includes 25 townhomes and 23 single- family lots. In October, a groundbreaking ceremony was held in Cedar Point beginning the work expanding the subdivision.
2. Transition of the Museum: In spring of 2016 the Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum officially dissolved as a nonprofit corporation and transferred its remaining assets to the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. This all came after a memorandum of agreement between the tribe and museum expired and the museum did not have enough funding to continue operating. Now the Southern Ute Museum and Cultural Center is running under the tribe improving each day with more consistent operating hours, new exhibits and an engaging family exhibit, Mountain Lion!.
2. Transition of the Museum: In spring of 2016 the Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum officially dissolved as a nonprofit corporation and transferred its remaining assets to the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. This all came after a memorandum of agreement between the tribe and museum expired and the museum did not have enough funding to continue operating. Now the Southern Ute Museum and Cultural Center is running under the tribe improving each day with more consistent operating hours, new exhibits and an engaging family exhibit, Mountain Lion!.
2. Transition of the Museum: In spring of 2016 the Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum officially dissolved as a nonprofit corporation and transferred its remaining assets to the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. This all came after a memorandum of agreement between the tribe and museum expired and the museum did not have enough funding to continue operating. Now the Southern Ute Museum and Cultural Center is running under the tribe improving each day with more consistent operating hours, new exhibits and an engaging family exhibit, Mountain Lion!.
3. LBC becomes Town holiday: A year ago this month Mayor of Ignacio Stella Cox signed a proclamation declaring that the Town of Ignacio would observe Leonard C. Burch Day – December 10 – as a Town holiday. In December the Town and the local schools were closed in observance of the new holiday.
3. LBC becomes Town holiday: A year ago this month Mayor of Ignacio Stella Cox signed a proclamation declaring that the Town of Ignacio would observe Leonard C. Burch Day – December 10 – as a Town holiday. In December the Town and the local schools were closed in observance of the new holiday.
4. Growth Fund reorganization: With the retirements of Operating Director Bob Zahradnik and Executive Director Bruce Valdez the Southern Ute Growth Fund changed its organizational chart around hiring two directors to fill the Operating Director position. Albert Brown and Patrick Vaughn were announced as the new directors in July – Brown focusing on Energy activities and Vaughn on non-energy activities.
4. Growth Fund reorganization: With the retirements of Operating Director Bob Zahradnik and Executive Director Bruce Valdez the Southern Ute Growth Fund changed its organizational chart around hiring two directors to fill the Operating Director position. Albert Brown and Patrick Vaughn were announced as the new directors in July – Brown focusing on Energy activities and Vaughn on non-energy activities.
5. Ute Museum progresses: The progress of the revamped Ute Indian Museum in Montrose was in the news a lot the latter part of 2016. The tribes and History Colorado spent the year working towards the June 2017 opening. The tribal representatives have been involved in the process since the beginning helping with the layout and content that will be featured in the new museum.
5. Ute Museum progresses: The progress of the revamped Ute Indian Museum in Montrose was in the news a lot the latter part of 2016. The tribes and History Colorado spent the year working towards the June 2017 opening. The tribal representatives have been involved in the process since the beginning helping with the layout and content that will be featured in the new museum.
5. Ute Museum progresses: The progress of the revamped Ute Indian Museum in Montrose was in the news a lot the latter part of 2016. The tribes and History Colorado spent the year working towards the June 2017 opening. The tribal representatives have been involved in the process since the beginning helping with the layout and content that will be featured in the new museum.
6. Environmental excellence: The Division under the tribes J&R Department was in the news plenty in 2016. Whether it was for following up on the Gold King Mine Spill, hosting environmental meetings or winning awards. Top of the list would be the EPD’s Air Quality Program receiving the 2016 Clean Air Excellence Award for Regulatory and Policy Innovation.
7. Language is always a priority: Ute Language remains on the list from last year. In 2016, we saw the release of the revised Ute Dictionary, the return of the “Let us all wake up and speak Ute” conference, the continued language classes at the Culture Department and the retirement of Georgia McKinley, SUIMA’s Ute Language Design Coordinator who taught the Ute language to SUIMA students for the past 15 years.
7. Language is always a priority: Ute Language remains on the list from last year. In 2016, we saw the release of the revised Ute Dictionary, the return of the “Let us all wake up and speak Ute” conference, the continued language classes at the Culture Department and the retirement of Georgia McKinley, SUIMA’s Ute Language Design Coordinator who taught the Ute language to SUIMA students for the past 15 years.
7. Language is always a priority: Ute Language remains on the list from last year. In 2016, we saw the release of the revised Ute Dictionary, the return of the “Let us all wake up and speak Ute” conference, the continued language classes at the Culture Department and the retirement of Georgia McKinley, SUIMA’s Ute Language Design Coordinator who taught the Ute language to SUIMA students for the past 15 years.
8. Supporting Standing Rock: Much of the community came together to show support for Standing Rock, including the tribe. The tribe sent a letter of support to Standing Rock Sioux in September and the Tribal Administration hosted a supplies drive to be donated to the water protectors. The community also hosted an awareness walk offering prayers and songs for those up north.
8. Supporting Standing Rock: Much of the community came together to show support for Standing Rock, including the tribe. The tribe sent a letter of support to Standing Rock Sioux in September and the Tribal Administration hosted a supplies drive to be donated to the water protectors. The community also hosted an awareness walk offering prayers and songs for those up north.
9. Celebrating milestones: In 2016 the Ignacio community celebrated SunUte Community Center and the Southern Ute Career Action Programs (SUCAP) reaching key milestones. In October, SUCAP, which provides the community many programs including Head Start, Ignacio Senior Center, The Training Advantage, Peaceful Spirit Treatment Center, SUCAP Youth Services and Road Runner Transit, celebrated its 50th anniversary.
9. Celebrating milestones: In 2016 the Ignacio community celebrated SunUte Community Center and the Southern Ute Career Action Programs (SUCAP) reaching key milestones.
9. Celebrating milestones: In December, SunUte celebrated 15 years of providing the community a place to better their health, minds and body.
9. Celebrating milestones: In 2016 the Ignacio community celebrated SunUte Community Center and the Southern Ute Career Action Programs (SUCAP) reaching key milestones. In October, SUCAP, which provides the community many programs including Head Start, Ignacio Senior Center, The Training Advantage, Peaceful Spirit Treatment Center, SUCAP Youth Services and Road Runner Transit, celebrated its 50th anniversary. In December, SunUte celebrated 15 years of providing the community a place to better their health, minds and body.
10. Healthy is the way to go: The Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the community pushed health intiatiaves to a new level in 2016. We saw the whole month of October dedicated to not only the awareness of breast cancer, but of all cancers. Shining Mountain Diabetes Health and Wellness Program hosted “Just Move It” events year round as well as building a herb garden outside the Southern Ute Health Center with the help of the Youth Council.
10. Healthy is the way to go: The Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the community pushed health intiatiaves to a new level in 2016. We saw the whole month of October dedicated to not only the awareness of breast cancer, but of all cancers. Shining Mountain Diabetes Health and Wellness Program hosted “Just Move It” events year round as well as building a herb garden outside the Southern Ute Health Center with the help of the Youth Council.
10. Healthy is the way to go: The Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the community pushed health intiatiaves to a new level in 2016. We saw the whole month of October dedicated to not only the awareness of breast cancer, but of all cancers. Shining Mountain Diabetes Health and Wellness Program hosted “Just Move It” events year round as well as building a herb garden outside the Southern Ute Health Center with the help of the Youth Council.
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Sacha Smith | 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
Sacha Smith | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Sacha Smith | The Southern Ute Drum
Sacha Smith | The Southern Ute Drum
Sacha Smith | The Southern Ute Drum
Sacha Smith | The Southern Ute Drum
Sacha Smith | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Sacha Smith | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum

As we enter 2017 we take a look back at last year’s the top events, stories and trends. Last year, we saw the reorganization of some tribal entities and the departures of some long time key employees of the tribe. The tribe also started expanding housing on the reservation at Cedar Point; breaking ground in October. The tribe also received national recognition for the work done by the Air Quality Program. For the full list of top news trends of 2016, see pages 4-5.

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