As befits royalty, some special attention was given to young Utes who attended the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs (CCIA) events in their special regalia, prior to offering their tribes’ official greetings at the Denver March Powwow.
Young princesses (and a Little Brave) of the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Tribes were offered special seating in the Colorado General Assembly March 22, where some of them led the Pledge of Allegiance and where Terry Knight, Ute Mountain Ute cultural leader, offered the invocation.
The youngsters had posed for photos earlier with Lt. Gov. Joseph Garcia, CCIA chairman, breakfasted with legislators, and later watched as Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed off on a bill to modernize CCIA’s charter. Only then did they get ready to powwow.
Some of the regular CCIA business was light-hearted as one item stood out the most. Michelle Fix-Westfall, a member of CCIA’s economic development committee presented the idea of an all-Indian rodeo as a possible revenue source for tribes. The rodeo is currently in the “thinking stage” she said.
Although nothing is concrete, she and others will try to pick up some pointers and information from the Rodeo All-Star Weekend in Denver April 4 – 6 which is expected to draw at least 3,500 people including contestants vying for a $140,000 grand prize.
“All-Star Weekends are popular sporting events nationwide, netting host cities significant profits in tourism revenue,” a press release stated.
The All-Star Rodeo will be at the National Western Stock Show Complex, cited by the CCIA as a possible venue for an All-Indian event that could be linked to the annual National Western Stock Show or perhaps Denver March Powwow.
The outlook either way could be beneficial for the two Ute tribes along with all American Indians in Colorado.