IGNACIO, Colo. (AP) - Southern Ute Indian Tribe elders are behind a recall effort aimed at members of the Tribal Council and its chairman.
Chairman Clement Frost and five council members have been targeted, including Alex Cloud, Amy Barry, James Olguin, Mel Baker and Tyson Thompson. The only member spared was Ramona Eagle, who is serving a temporary term.
The elders have blamed the council for a lack of job opportunities, poor communication and misguided investments, among other grievances. The elders also claim that the council has forgotten the history of the Southern Utes and are calling the recall effort a “revolution” to preserve their traditional way of life, reported The Durango Herald (https://bit.ly/1gZLLZa ).
“This is the core of the tribe, the older people, that have the tradition, the culture and the knowledge of our families,” said Renee Cloud, a tribal elder. “This is where we live. This is our reservation.”
The organizers of the recall have until the end of August to gather 275 signatures from voting tribal members for each of the six petitions.
“It’s up to the people to decide. … We are the governing body of the tribal membership,” said Florence Williams, one of the elders participating in the recall effort. “The Southern Ute Tribe itself is a governing body. All council is our spokesperson, our baby sitters.”
Elders and council members are expected to come together at a meeting scheduled for Aug. 21. Elders plan to request that the council form an elders committee to advise the council.
A receptionist for Tribal Council Affairs said council members were on retreat and could not be reached for comment.
Information from: Durango Herald, https://www.durangoherald.com
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