To the Southern Ute Tribe

Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum

Words cannot express how grateful we are for the opportunity to visit your Reservation. It was very obvious that Robert Ortiz is very proud of the tribe and put a lot of effort into arranging experiences for us that showed us what you, as a people, are all about. From the accommodations at the Southern Ute Fairgrounds to the visit to the Southern Ute Montessori Academy, our trip was packed with incredible learning opportunities.

We were able to see the Growth Fund and hear the great story of its inception. We toured the SunUte Community Center and had lunch with the Shining Mountain Diabetes Program. We learned about the Southern Ute Drum and were provided lunch with them. We had the privilege of meeting the Southern Ute Tribal Council and enjoyed speaking with them about their role in the tribe. We were able to meet Little Miss Southern Ute and the Southern Ute Brave. We learned about the Bear Dance and saw the Yellow Jacket Drum Group while we danced the Round Dance. We were able to go on the air on KSUT. We saw the Southern Ute tribes Bison herd. We were able to visit the casino and see the cultural events that go on there as well as the resort atmosphere. We toured the Justice facility and were able to hear directly from tribal police officers, game wardens, gaming officials, and water/environmental specialists about their roles within the tribe. And lastly, we were able to tour the Southern Ute Montessori Academy and see a great educational model in action.

Our experience and time spent on the Southern Ute Reservation has taught us about the Southern Ute culture and what makes the Southern Ute Tribe special in a way that we never could have learned in a classroom setting. We are so grateful to have been able to embrace the tribe and its culture first hand. The hospitality that we received at each place we visited made us feel welcome, and we are honored to better understand the tribe. This experience was so unique and gave us a great perspective on what Colorado is. Thanks you so much! We appreciate you opening your doors and allowing us in!

Sincerely,

Mike Mendoza, John Morales, Chris Cousineau and the Golden High School Senior Seminar Class of 2016

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