2022: The year in pictures

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Dry fire fuels, buried amongst thick brush, willows, and aging cottonwood trees proved to be a perfect recipe for a fire that sparked along the Pine River corridor, northeast for Ignacio and adjacent to Southern Ute tribal campus last summer — Friday, June 3. Aviation resources were immediately called in at the start of the Bear Dance Fire, which included multiple helicopters, single engine air tankers or SEATs, and a large, fixed wing air tanker — which dropped slurry to suppress the fire on the northern most edge. No structures were lost during the multi-day suppression effort; the Bear Dance Fire consumed 89 acres along the Pine River prior to containment.
Flames rise from the underbrush as cottonwoods and willows burn in the forested areas south of Scott’s Pond, Friday, June 3. Additional resources from Durango Fire Protection District and Los Piños Fire Protection assisted on the attack, Friday afternoon, June 3.
The Bear Dance Fire consumed 89 acres along the Pine River, just east of SunUte Park and north past Scott’s Pond, spread by high winds, Friday afternoon, June 3. The BIA, Southern Ute Agency, Southern Ute Indian Tribe, and Los Piños Fire crews were onsite Friday afternoon, and throughout the weekend aided by Hot Shot crews and regional air support. The Bear Dance Fire was extinguished and 100% contained as of Tuesday, June 7.
Judge Scott Moore introduces former Chief Judge and Tribal Chairman Pearl Casias as one of the two Ute women being recognized in a dedication ceremony to acknowledge the renaming of the Justice Building to the Casias-Newton Justice Center, Monday, May 16. Additional photos were published.
Families of Pearl Casias and the late, Chief Judge Elaine Newton stand together on the steps of the newly renamed Casias-Newton Justice Center. Southern Ute Executive Officer, James "Mike" Olguin spoke on behalf of his sister Elaine, and the Newton family.
Construction workers pick up the remaining particles of asphalt on the road after the Wirtgen W250 machine mills the roadway in the Cedar Point Subdivision on Tuesday, August 10.
Members of the Southern Ute Tribal Planning Department and WCA Construction, LLC., look at the progress of the Full Depth Reconstruction repair at the intersection of Fry Bread Avenue and Arrow Street. The road has been stripped down to its foundation and is being replaced with new materials before being repaved.
The Acoma Sky City Dancers and Howeya Family Dance Group performed the Corn Dance and other traditional Pueblo dances, Friday, Sept. 23, in the recently constructed amphitheater at Chimney Rock National Monument in honor of the 10th anniversary of the national monument designation.
Laryn Oakes-Yazzie of Whitecap, Sask. competes in the Women’s Fancy Shawl Category. Additional photos were published.
Northern Traditional Dancers go head-to-head during the Men’s Northern Traditional Special sponsored by Talon White Eye on Saturday, April 30. Expo N.M. welcomes dancers, singers, artists, and visitors from all over North America to the 39th Annual Gathering of Nations Powwow. This year’s event hosted competitive dancing and singing in the Tingley Coliseum, Stage 49 and food vendors on the Expo N.M. fairgrounds, and the Indian Traders Market in the Creative Arts Center.
The Hozhoni Days Powwow returns to the Whalen Gymnasium drawing dancers from across the region. Southern Ute tribal member Samantha Maez and daughter, Consuela “Cella” Phillips, enter the arena during the first Grand Entry session held, Friday, April 1. Additional photos were published.
Eddie Box Jr., namesake of the new building, and members of the Southern Ute Tribal Council sit down with hosts Tami Graham and Sheila Nanaeto to reminisce on memories of KSUT during the noon radio hour on Wednesday, Oct. 26. This broadcast celebrated the KSUT Open House event and the annual KSUT Fall Fund Drive. Each guest gave their thanks to the contributions KSUT has made to the surrounding community over the years. (DWB)
KSUT Tribal Radio Station Manager, Sheila Nanaeto and KSUT Executive Director, Tami Graham broadcast live during the lunch hour alongside members of Tribal Council and Southern Ute tribal elder Eddie Box Jr., reflecting on past members of the KSUT staff who had a large influence on the station's success within the community.
The Boys and Girls Club of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe received national recognition when one of their team members was nominated and honored at the 2022 Native Summit for Boys and Girls Club of America. Cassandra Sanchez, Site Director for the Boys and Girls Club of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, received the prestigious Native Spirit Award, Thursday, Nov. 10, in Orlando, Fla.  Carla Knapp, National Vice President of Native Services presented the Native Spirit Award to Sanchez in person, thanking Sanchez for her exemplary service.
Arial view of the San Juan River flowing into the Navajo Lake, photo taken on Saturday, March 12, during a flight for the Colorado River Overflight Project.
Southern Ute Tribal Water Attorney, Lisa Yellow Eagle gets an arial view of Lake Nighthorse on Saturday, March 12. Yellow Eagle was invited to be a passenger as part of the Colorado River Overflight Project.
Grace Gonzales was crowned Miss Southern Ute and Izabella Cloud was crowned Miss Southern Ute Alt. on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022, at the Southern Ute Multi-Purpose Facility one week prior to the 100th Annual Tribal Fair. 2022 marked the return of the Southern Ute Royalty after a brief hiatus during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy Upper Elementary Teacher, Mae Yazzie-Pino helps younger students with placing a tipi pole during the Tipi Raising and Blessing on Tuesday, Nov. 1, hosted by the Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum staff to kick off Native American Heritage Month. Additional photos were published.
Meskvlwv Wesley, SUIMA upper elementary student helps Southern Ute elder Hanley Frost put sticks into the front entrance of the tipi. The hands-on demonstration provided a hands-on culture experience for the younger students at the Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy, Tuesday, Nov. 1.
Randolph Scott takes aim with his traditional recurve bow during the annual Archery Challenge hosted by SunUte. The course took archers along the Bear Trail where they had to take aim at a variety of 3D targets.
Tribal elder Austin Box greets parade attendees on the route through the town of Ignacio. Box was named the Grand Marshal of the 100th Annual Tribal Fair Parade — with the 2022 theme of “Rez’Ilience.” The parade filled Goddard Ave. on Saturday, Sept. 10, featuring Tribal Department floats, car prizes, horse prizes, children’s categories, and multiple best dressed categories. This year’s parade was noticeably packed with contestants and spectators, which lasted for nearly two full hours.
The Tribe kept up with tradition at this year’s 100th Annual Southern Ute Tribal Fair & Powwow held in Ignacio, Friday, Sept. 9 – Sunday, Sept. 11, followed by professional rodeo and a host of horse events at the Southern Ute Fairgrounds. Postponed for two consecutive years due to the pandemic, the return of the annual fair brought a sense of excitement and energy to the community, drawing in attendees from across the Four Corners region and as far as Canada to participate in the parade, powwow, rodeo and numerous other time-honored events – a celebration that truly speaks to the resiliency of the Southern Ute people and this community. Southern Ute tribal elder Marjorie Borst dances into Grand Entry in her respective dance category on Friday, Sept. 9 at the 62nd Annual Southern Ute Tribal Fair Powwow.
Representatives from the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe gathered together at Lake Capote to celebrate the completion of the US 160 Wildlife Crossing Project with an official ribbon cutting ceremony, Thursday, July 28.
Director of Planning for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Douglas McDonald (far right) and Tribal Planning Project Coordinator, Mary Evening Star Eagle (center) welcome the successful dedication of the US 160 Wildlife Crossing, following the multi-year collaborative effort between state and Tribe.
Southern Ute Veterans Association members, pictured left to right: Raymond Baker (U.S. Navy Retired), Bruce Valdez (U.S. Army), Gordon Hammond (U.S. Marines), Bruce LeClaire (U.S. Army), and Southern Ute Tribal Council member, Linda Baker (back row), march in a procession across the National Mall on Friday, Nov. 11, as part of the color guard assembled for the dedication of the National Native American Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Additional photos were published.
Southern Ute Veterans Association members, pictured left to right: Bruce Valdez (U.S. Army), Gordon Hammond (U.S. Marines), Raymond Baker (U.S. Navy Retired), and Bruce LeClaire (U.S. Army), during the Native American Heritage Month program at The Pentagon, Thursday, Nov 10.
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Krista Richards | Southern Ute Drum
Krista Richards | Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Divine Windy Boy | Southern Ute Drum
Divine Windy Boy | Southern Ute Drum
Divine Windy Boy | Southern Ute Drum
Divine Windy Boy | Southern Ute Drum
Divine Windy Boy | Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Divine Windy Boy | Southern Ute Drum
Divine Windy Boy | Southern Ute Drum
Fabian Martinez | Southern Ute Drum
Krista Richards | Southern Ute Drum
Krista Richards | Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Terence Whyte | Southern Ute Drum
Divine Windy Boy | Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
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The past twelve months have marked a return to the ebb and flow of seasonal activities and time-honored traditions in the Southern Ute community. The Tribe celebrated the Eddie Box Jr. Media Center, its collaborations with CDOT on wildlife management, and a host of cultural events along with the 100th annual Tribal Fair. The Tribe also met numerous challenges head on, from overcoming wildfires at home to navigating persistent drought conditions — plus the subsequent need to address tribal water rights, environmental policies and tribal sovereignty for future generations.

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