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Southern Ute Youth Group reunion aims to share and reflect

Photo Credit: SU Drum Archive

The Southern Ute Cultural Preservation Department invites past members of the Southern Ute Youth Group to a reunion to reminisce on dance performances and past travels. Guests will have the opportunity to share their memories, old photos, and enjoy a meal provided by the staff of the Southern Ute Cultural Preservation Department. 

The Southern Ute Youth Group formed around the year 1974 and was coordinated by Cynthia Kent who was working as the Southern Ute Education Director at the time. The group traveled as far as Winnipeg, Man., to perform traditional Nuche dances. The group also spent a lot of time fundraising and attending various local events.  

In an interview with Cultural Events/ Heritage Coordinator, Edward Box III, he shared what the Southern Ute Youth Group had accomplished as they traveled the nation. “[Southern Ute Youth Group] taught us a lot about working together and traveling – what to expect leaving the reservation and experiencing the world out there,” Box said. “We did a lot of events here locally; our performances were Ute centric.” 

Before transitioning into the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs (CCIA), Cynthia Kent served as a role model to participants of the Southern Ute Youth Group in how she would facilitate appearances and events. “She was a role model, we would look to her to show us ‘I got this event, this is what we need to do, this is what they want’, she was our mentor,” Box said. “We were really sad when she moved to CCIA. I still remember, you would walk into the Mouache Capote Building you go up the first stairs and you turn right, that was her office, right there and we’d have meetings I still remember.” 

The Southern Ute Youth Group Reunion will be held on Saturday, March 25, at the Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum’s large classroom at 11 a.m. Attendees can expect to share a meal and discuss their fondest memories. Box hopes to collect digital scans of photos brought in by participants, to be placed into an archive. “I want to thank [group members] for what they did for the Tribe, and not just that, take time to honor the ones who have passed on and just come together to have a good time,” he said.  

Box hopes to share teachings of traditional Ute dances to youth and bring the previous youth group members back to the dance circle, to help create a sense of community and happiness. “That’s my vision, the youth group members who are now elders I want them to remember,” he said. “I feel if we come together, we can bring back those dances and plus bring back the ones who used to dance back then — bring them back into the circle of dancing.” 

For more information on the event, you can contact Cultural Events/ Heritage Coordinator, Edward Box III at 970-563-2988 or send him an email at  

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