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Ute Mountain Ute Tribe

  • Earlier this month, a meeting was held in White Mesa, Utah, on the Ute Mountain Ute reservation, to remember the centennial of the town of Blanding’s attacks on the tribal community. From March 22 to April 29, 1923, Mormon settlers and townspeople from Blanding began a five-week assault that included the theft of Ute lands and children, and the murder and imprisonment of many White Mesa Utes. Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk is a former Ute Mountain Ute tribal council member and the cross-cultural programs manager for Montezuma Land Conservancy. According to Lopez-Whiteskunk, the attack on White Mesa was brought on, in part, by the Homestead Act of 1862, which allowed any American to put in a claim for up to 160 free acres of federal land.
  • For months, fraudulent sober living homes have targeted tribal communities across the western United States, including the White Mountain Apache Tribe and the Navajo Nation, coercing vulnerable Native American people into coming to facilities in Phoenix. A victims’ advocate says grassroots organizations like hers have been relying on social media to connect Native families looking for loved ones who’ve ended up living unhoused in Phoenix because of this scheme.
  • Tribal attorneys nationwide are concerned about a recent Supreme Court ruling on Navajo Nation water rights. An attorney for the Ute Mountain Ute tribe says the ruling calls into question the trustee relationship between tribes and the federal government.
  • On Friday, victims advocates held a walk in downtown Phoenix to raise awareness about predatory sober living homes targeting Indigenous communities like the Navajo Nation and the Ute Mountain Ute tribe in Colorado. Advocate Reva Stewart, whose cousin was taken by a group home recruiter from New Mexico to Phoenix, Arizona, says that recruiters often look for unhoused people in tribal communities, or those struggling with substance abuse. But Stewart says that a change made last week to Arizona’s Medicaid program closed a loophole that the group homes were exploiting. And today is the last day of Colorado’s legislative session.
  • In Four Corners tribal communities like the Navajo Nation, scammers working for predatory treatment homes are targeting Indigenous people, taking them to pop-up rehabs in Arizona. Victims advocates like Reva Stewart are trying to raise awareness about this issue by holding a walk in downtown Phoenix on Friday, May 5.The rehabs, which are supposed to be regulated by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or “Access,” (AHCCCS) target vulnerable individuals in tribal communities, like those who are struggling with substance and alcohol abuse, or who are unsheltered.
  • The tribe held a meeting on the development of a new grocery store and workforce center, to be completed in 2024.
  • The US House of Representatives passed legislation that may help provide Arizona with more water. And the Colorado Department of Natural Resources recently awarded a one million dollar grant to the Ute Mountain Ute tribe and three local conservation groups.
  • An annual Native American athletic tradition is coming back to Southwest Colorado this week after taking two years off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Ute Mountain Ute tribe is raising money to open a grocery store on its reservation. Federal COVID-19 waivers for free school lunch will end when the school year is over. And summer water restrictions in Cortez take effect on Sunday and will remain in place until September 15.
  • Colorado lawmakers say they will pass a bill to provide hundreds of millions in property tax relief over the next two years. And the Ute Mountain Ute tribe is receiving a grant worth one and a half million dollars from the Colorado Housing and Finance authority.