Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah & Ouray Reservation, Utah

More than a century ago, Northern Ute Indians were forced from their lands in the Yampa Valley. Now a college wants to make sure the history is not forgotten. Colorado Mountain College started working with the Utes about four years ago. It opened the Northern Ute Cultural Affairs Office on campus. “It’s extending our sense of community to include the Indigenous people who were in the valley before us,” said Pam Burwell, a college administrator who is a liaison to the tribe. Plans are to develop a database to connect Ute artists, speakers and entertainers with area groups and businesses. CMC also plans to offer a Native American scholarship and ultimately have a Northern Ute member at the cultural office. The college wants to create a mentoring program for Utes who attend the college or who may visit the area with the conservation corps. Ute speakers have already talked about their Yampa Valley history. Their headquarters is in Fort Duchesne, Utah, where several Ute tribes were forced to relocate. Burwell said that tribes came to the valley to use the hot springs for hundreds of years. This was a medicine valley for them, a place they came for healing,” Burwell said.

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