Southern Ute Tribe

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 737
Ignacio, CO 81137

Contact Information




Cultural History

The history of the Southern Ute Tribe can be traced back to 1 A.D. During this time, the Shoshonean speaking people decided to part ways from the Uto-Aztecan groups. On 1000 A.D the Indians started their migration to the United States. In 1150 century, the Southern Paiutes started settling in Southern Nevada, Southwestern Utah and Northern Arizona. Meanwhile, around 1200ís, the Anasazis began carving their history in the cave stones which were also their way of protecting themselves from the other tribes. By doing so, they announced their territories. However, in 1276, these people were forced to move out and find other habitats because of the threats from the Utes. In 1942, the Europeans started to control the Americans by providing continuous contacts with them. In 626, the Spanish made their first contact with the Utes and in 1637, the first conflict between these two started. During this time, the Spanish government was under Luis de Roxas who captured 80 Utacas for workforce in the Santa Fe region. Finally, in 1670, the first treaty between the Utes and the Spaniards was signed yet on 1680, the Pueblo Revolution erupted forcing the Spaniards to move out of their territory. Several expeditions were sent by the Spaniards during the 1700ís to settle with the tribes. On 1730 to 1750, however, the Utes continued to fight for their settlements of which they lost to the Spaniards.  They were defeated in 1746 by the Spaniards even after collision with the Comanches in Abiquiu. The Spaniards declare their desire to trade with the Utes for quality deer skins so in 1752, they called upon a meeting with the Utes leaders with the governor of New Mexico. IN 1754, the Utes have successfully washed out the Navajos to conquer the San Juan Drainage. In 1754, Mouache Utes entered an alliance with the Jicarilla Apaches. During the 1760ís, the Spaniards and the Utes have finally built a friendly relationship and trading ventures pushed through. The Utes then engaged in buffalo hunting, sewing, agriculture and trading for which they earned their living. 

In 1936, the first Tribak Council was established in compliance with the Wheeler-Howard Treaty also known as the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. The 222,016 acres of land were granted once again to the Southern Utes as part of the Restoration Act along with 30,000 acres of land to the Ute Mountain Utes. The settlement for the land was made in 1953 while in 1966, the Community Action Program started. The Pino Nuche Purasa operated by the Southern Utes t Ignacio opened in 1972.

Today, there are 3,500 members of the Uintah-Ouray, 1,500 members of the Southern Ute while 2,000 members of the Ute Mountain. Most of the youth in the tribe attend local public schools. They are the wealthiest tribes in the United States having almost $4,000,000,000 claim in financial assets. They have a casino called the Sky Ute Casino, Lake Capote which hosts the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally and the KSUT, a major public radio station.

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