City to recognize Indigenous people of Yampa Valley |

City to recognize Indigenous people of Yampa Valley

Dancer Sequiah Tallbird performs a “fancy dance” during the Ute Indian Powwow dance performance and presentation at Steamboat Springs High School in 2019. Tallbird and other dancers from the Nah-Na-Mah Culture Club came to Steamboat to share their dances, culture and traditions during the presentation, which was put on by the Tread of Pioneers Museum.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The city of Steamboat Springs will recognize the Indigenous people of the Yampa Valley for their contribution to the land, water, plants, animals and people of Steamboat Springs through a proclamation during the Tuesday night City Council meeting.

“The Yampa Valley and all that is enjoyed today dates back to the lands first inhabitants, the Ute tribe,” said City Manager Gary Suiter in a news release. “Long overdue, this proclamation is a small first step in recognizing the valuable contributions of the valley’s indigenous people and their traditions which helped shape our community.”

According to a city news release, the Ute Indians Nuche are Colorado’s oldest documented inhabitants. The Ute’s creation story tells the Ute people that in the beginning of time, the Creator placed the Utes in the Rocky Mountains, their ancestral home.

Regionally the Ute people who inhabited the Yampa Valley are known as the Yamparika or Yampatika, who were later forcibly removed from their ancestral home and relocated to reservations in Utah and Southern Colorado after the Battle of Milk Creek in 1879.

The proclamation was drafted and presented to city staff by Dr. Enrique Maestas and reviewed by members of the Ute Tribe in celebration of the Indigenous Peoples of the Yampa Valley. It will be read at the beginning of the council meeting at around 5 p.m. November is recognized as Native American Heritage Month and is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people.

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