KSUT Four Corners Public Radio's Blog

Tribal Radio hosts Ignacio students; resumes live coverage of Ignacio Boy’s Varsity Basketball Games
December 6, 2011, 4:58 pm
Filed under: KSUT interviews, Tribal Radio

Sixth grade students from Ignacio Intermediate School.

The Ignacio School District is now contributing to community programming on KSUT Tribal Radio, with 15 minute updates every Wednesday morning at 10:45. Featuring students, teachers and administrators, the weekly updates cover school organizations, academics, sports, administrative news and more.

Tribal Radio is also pleased to announce they’re resuming regular live coverage of the Ignacio Boy’s Varsity Basketball games beginning this Friday. You can tune-in locally at 91.3 FM, or online here.


Neda Ulaby’s story on Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum on Morning Edition. Missed it? Listen here.
June 13, 2011, 1:34 pm
Filed under: Arts & Culture, NPR programming, Tribal Radio

Colorado Tribe Puts Cultural Riches On Display

With its upward-sloping wings, the new Southern Ute Museum and Cultural Center is designed to resemble an eagle, a sacred symbol for the tribe. Courtesy of the Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum. With its upward-sloping wings, the new Southern Ute Museum and Cultural Center is designed to resemble an eagle, a sacred symbol for the tribe.

June 13, 2011

It’s not often that you hear of Native American tribes flourishing thanks to the U.S. government, but that’s what happened to Colorado’s Southern Ute.

With the help of a historic government blunder, the Southern Ute have become one of the country’s wealthiest tribes — so wealthy, in fact, that they’ve just transformed their old museum into an impressive new cultural center in Ignacio, Colo. It’s called the Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum and it’s housed in a new $38 million building. The hope is that the center will help boost tourism, but it’s also meant to teach outsiders and tribal youth about Southern Ute history and culture.

History’s Happy Accident

In the late 19th century, the U.S. government divided the Ute people into three different tribes, sending them north or west and letting some stay where they were.

“We remained here,” explains museum board Chairman Robert Burch, who grew up on a Ute reservation near Colorado’s border with New Mexico. “Little did they know we were sitting on oil — natural gas. And once we started getting it out of the ground [and] producing it, we became a wealthy tribe.”

So while the Southern Utes have fewer than 1,500 members, the tribe is worth billions — it’s literally a case study in expert resource management.

Miss Southern Ute first alternate Sage Rodhe gets recognized at the museum's late-May opening. Courtesy of the Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum: Miss Southern Ute first alternate Sage Rodhe gets recognized at the museum’s late-May opening.

Helping The Southern Ute Remember

When the Southern Ute decided to diversify their already impressive financial portfolio by opening a casino, it became clear that the time had also come to update their museum.

“It was an awful little building, maybe not even 1,000 square feet,” Burch says. “So we decided to build a place where we could have a showcase for our children and grandchildren, and they would always know their culture.”

The community set out to retrieve Ute artifacts from all over the world and bring them home — priceless white clay pottery, intricate beadwork and glorious baskets by White Mesa weavers.

But for many Southern Ute, the most meaningful part of the museum is its display of family photographs. It was there that former tribal Chairman Matthew Box discovered a long-lost family photo.

“It is a picture that has my mother, my uncle Leonard, my grandpa and my dad and myself. And we’re all sitting around a drum,” Box says.

Box gets teary-eyed looking at it. He says he had never seen the photo — which was taken in the 1980s — before it was put on display at the museum.

‘A Museum In A Body’

Other, younger tribe members were thrilled to see blown-up color photographs of themselves alongside the museum’s expensive replicas of tepees and boarding school classrooms.

Ian Thompson, 33, and Samantha Pacheco, 21, say the museum feels a little like a family album — after all, it’s a small tribe, so everyone knows each other. And they say being on display is nothing new — they often perform in front of crowds at public powwows.

“We’re usually dancing or singing for everyone,” Pacheco says.

“So everybody’s usually looking at us,” Thompson adds.

“We are literally a museum in a body,” Pacheco muses.

And so it feels good, they say, to have a place where they can finally look at themselves.

Southern Ute Bear Dance & Contest Pow Wow this weekend in Ignacio

Catch Flaco Jimenez at the Sky Ute Casino & Del Alma Cinco de Mayo celebration on Saturday

The 17th Annual Del Alma and Sky Ute Casino Cinco de Mayo Celebration and Concert takes place this Saturday. The Outdoor festival plaza is free from noon-6 pm featuring arts & crafts vendors and a Mexican food court. There will be live entertainment throughout the day; children’s games; a low rider, car and motorcycle competition show, and more.

Tickets for the concert featuring Flaco Jimenez and Little Joe y La Familia are available at the gift shop and at the door. Doors open at 7 PM.

Sky Ute Casino
14324 Hwy 172 N
Ignacio, CO 81137
Phone: (970) 563-7777
Website: www.skyutecasino.com

Hozhoni Days Pow wow at Fort Lewis College this weekend
March 24, 2011, 10:47 pm
Filed under: Arts & Culture, Four Corners events, KSUT event picks, music, Tribal Radio

The 47th Annual Hozhoni Days Powwow, takes place this Friday and Saturday. The Hozhoni Days (Navajo, meaning “Days of Beauty”) celebration is one of the oldest and biggest events at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO.  In years past, the event has attracted thousands of participants and visitors from across North America to the campus.

Organized by Wanbli Ota, one of the College’s Native American student groups, Hozhoni Days 2011 will bring a number of Native American speakers to campus, in addition to the celebration’s marquee events: the Miss Hozhoni Pageant and the Hozhoni Days Pow wow. All of the events are open to the public.

For more information on the Pow wow and the other Hozhoni Days events, call 970-247-7221.

Indigenous performs live on KSUT Saturday afternoon at 1:00
March 9, 2011, 7:27 pm
Filed under: Arts & Culture, KSUT event picks, KSUT in-studio, music, Tribal Radio

More great live music on KSUT Saturday afternoon (3/12) when the amazing blues guitarist Mato Nanji and his band Indigenous join us in the studio at approximately 1 PM. Nanji is a member of the Nakota Nation from South Dakota’s Yankton Indian Reservation. Indigenous, which began as a family band, has transformed over the years.  Still lead by Nanji, he and the current incarnation of Indigenous perform Saturday night at the Sky Ute Casino Resort in Ignacio.

Bill Miller joins us live in-studio this morning

Bill Miller at KSUT: Mike Santistevan, Linda Baker, Sage Rohde, Bill Miller, Yvonne Bilinski (Fort Lewis College), and Sheila Nanaeto

We’re thrilled to have singer-songwriter Bill Miller join us for some live music and conversation this morning, likely around 10:15. Perfect for our Festivarian fund drive day. He performs a free concert tomorrow night at the Student Union Ballroom at Fort Lewis College. Call in your pledge: 563-0255, 1-800-569-5788.