FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 17, 2016
CONTACT: Natasha Hale- (505) 906-8303
Towaoc, Colorado —The Tri-Ute Council, which includes the Ute Mountain Ute, Southern Indian Ute, and Ute Indian Tribes, convened for their quarterly meeting in Towaoc, Colorado on June 14th to discuss issues relevant to Ute people. The Tri-Ute Council passed a resolution supporting presidential designation of a Bears Ears National Monument in Southeast Utah.
The document stated that the resolution supported a national monument designation in part to preserve inherent sovereign rights for Ute people and their descendants, enlighten public understanding of Indian People, and preserve Indian cultural values, among other things. The resolution recognized the historic and ongoing ties of Utes to the lands, animals, and plants of the Bears Ears region and noted that important of Bears Ears as the ancestral home of multiple other Southwest tribes.
The Bears Ears region, as expressed by the Council, has been the home of Native Americans for more than 12,000 years and is world-class in terms of archaeological resources. The area holds unique significance for Utes and other Native Americans in terms of culture, history, subsistence, sacred places, and spirituality. The lands are currently under threat from cultural vandalism, looting, and indiscriminate off road vehicle use, energy development, and degradation of wildlife and plant habitats, the resolution said.
The Tri-Ute Council called for a Bears Ears National Monument designation that “reflects the will and the values of the peoples whose identities, histories, cultures, and futures are inextricably tied to these lands.” The resolution stated that the monument should be collaboratively managed, in order for Tribes to have full and active involvement.