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Northern Ute People (Uintah and Ouray Reservation)

  • Chief Ouray and Chipeta

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    Chief Ouray, pictured here with his wife Chipeta, was one of the most influential leaders of the Northern Ute people in the late nineteenth century. A known intellectual and skilled diplomat, Ouray negotiated treaties and attempted to avoid conflict with whites wherever possible. After the Meeker Massacre of 1879, Ouray negotiated for the return of several white hostages, helping avoid further bloodshed between whites and his people.
    Chief Ouray and Chipeta
  • Ute Delegation to DC

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    Chief Ouray and his wife, Chipeta (front row, right), travelled to Washington, DC, with Southern Utes to negotiate the treaty that would remove White River and Tabergauche Utes from Colorado following the Meeker incident. Chief Ouray passed away at the age of 47 shortly after the trip.
    Ute Delegation to DC
  • The Bear Dance

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    Originally, the Ute people were organized into separate bands, or groups of families, that occupied territory recognized by the other bands. Although there were regional differences between bands, they were, and remain to be, tied together by cultural and spiritual practices, such as the Bear Dance.
    The Bear Dance
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Fred A. Conetah, A History of the Northern Ute People, ed. Kathryn L. MacKay and Floyd A. O’Neil (Fort Duchesne and Salt Lake City: Uintah-Ouray Ute Tribe, 1982).

Court Victory Restored the Utes' Homeland of Desert, Forest and Oil,” Deseret News (Salt Lake City), October 9, 1988.

Nancy Lofholm, “Tribe Seeks Hunting Rights,” Denver Post, May 23, 2000.

Daniel McCool, “Utah and the Ute Tribe Are at War,” High Country News [Paonia, CO], June 27, 1994.

Additional Information: 

June Lyman and Norma Denver, Ute People: An Historical Study, 3rd ed., ed. Floyd A. O’ Neil and John Sylvester (Salt Lake City: Uintah School District and Western History Center, University of Utah, 1970).

Virginia McConnell Simmons, The Ute Indians of Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2000).