Ute Indian Tribe
On Wednesday, April 7, 2021, the Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee met with Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland at the Bears Ears National Monument to discuss restoration of the monument and other pressing issues. Uncompahgre Band Business Committee Representative Shaun Chapoose represented the Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee at the meeting. He was joined by tribal leaders from the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, which includes the Ute Indian Tribe, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, the Hopi Tribe, the Navajo Nation, and the Pueblo of Zuni.
The small group meeting provided time for each of the tribal leaders to discuss the monument and other concerns with the secretary. Everyone followed COVID-19 safety protocols during the meeting.
Rep. Chapoose spoke on the importance of protecting tribal lands and resources within the monument and on the Tribe’s Uintah and Ouray Reservation. He noted that the monument and the reservation have both been under attack by the State of Utah and the Utah Congressional Delegation for years. He asked that Secretary Haaland take a strong stand in support of the Tribe’s interests, and he provided the secretary with briefing materials on issues impacting lands and waters on the Tribe’s reservation.
The meeting was a part of Secretary Haaland’s first official trip out of Washington, D.C. since being sworn in as the Secretary of the Interior and the first Native American Cabinet Secretary. The meeting also included the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management, Nada Culver, and other top officials in the secretary’s office.