Express Your Opinions

Letter to the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Membership

The protocol and duties of elected officials is written in the Southern Ute Indian Constitution. It states: We, the members of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation in Colorado, in order to exercise our inherent rights of self-government as confirmed by the Constitution and bylaws approved November 4, 1936 to administer our tribal affairs, to preserve and increase our tribal resources, do ordain and establish this constitution.

From this understanding each and every elected official should administer Tribal affairs to the best of their ability, and not create any type of misunderstanding, conflict or perform any unethical conduct during their term in office.

What has become very noticeable is how Tribal officials have become transformational passive leaders – they depend on other non-tribal staff to make decisions for them. They do so while earning Tribal dollars to make adverse decisions; creating policies that work against the membership in many ways. Classic issues in employment, health, housing, credit program, Tribal court to name a few.

Most recent in the Tribal Credit Fund-Secured Housing Loan Program Tribal Council has allowed non-members staff to create and recommend a program that is adversary to our membership. Many members have been turned away under this program, while yet the policy says, “Tribal Credit loans will not be denied based on the applicant’s credit score and the criteria defined in this declaration shall govern credit approval”. What do you think about the Tribal Council selling us out-now we are confronted with using credit scores to qualify for housing-setting us up like a loan program with Wells Fargo?

In previous years our percapita was not taxable and thanks to officials we pay taxes now; plus now they have subjected us to credit checks utilizing our own tribal funds. What do you think about that and so what is next?

When we discuss housing many members need housing young and old and there is absolutely no help for them. Our elders need home repairs of some sort that goes unnoticed; plus there are so many other issues on our reservation we have to contend with ourselves with no help from officials. Most of the time we live in silence and say nothing and it continues. Don’t you think it is time to take a stand for the sake of our tribal children and their future? Become involved.

For your information I have chosen to take a stand to assist in a re-call effort along with other elders. There are posters available for your information and our effort has been acknowledged in the Durango Herald dated August 11, 2015. I would like to see an impact to take a stand sign up and help make a difference we all need and during election time support people whom truly support Tribal member’s needs. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Renee Cloud,

SUIT Member

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