Friday

During the summer of this past year, Colorado landowner Rich Snyder reached out to the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation. He had been working on and living on a lot of land in the San Luis area of southern Colorado that he purchased only a few years ago.

The power of the Ute Indian Tribe’s historic presence on that land overwhelmed him.

Ute Tribal Business Committee Members thank Mr. Snyder

“I bought a lot of land that looks like your people lived on with buildings, graves ... was a very sacred place. Would love to have the land checked out and give it to your people ... it has given peace to me to be there.” In late September, Rich signed over the deed at the county clerk’s office to the Ute Indian Tribe. Rich told volunteers for the Tribe who visited the site in late September that the land has given him great joy but he believes it belongs to the Ute people.

From the lot of elevated land, one can look toward the southwest and see the Ute Mountain in northern New Mexico. This region is the area of the Colorado and New Mexico border known to be Ute ancestral land. In the 1880’s, bands of the Ute people were expelled from Colorado in a vicious land-grabbing campaign led by politicians and the media of the day. “The Utes Must Go!” declared editorials in leading papers of the time and the several bands of the Utes were marched out of Colorado into Utah, or pursued like common criminals in Colorado. “Every tribe has its own ‘Trail of Tears’” said Business Committee member Shaun Chapoose. “This was ours.”

On Thursday October 25th, the Business Committee of the Ute Indian Tribe welcomed Colorado landowner Rich Snyder to a reception at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Conference in Denver. Luke Duncan, Chairman of the Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee said:


“This good man reached out to the Ute Tribe, on his own, to return this land to us. We hope it can inspire others to take similar actions.” The Ute Indian Tribe recently established the Ute Land Trust, a non-profit organization that can help facilitate transfers of land ownership or rights, including through cultural conservation easements.


About the Ute Indian Tribe - The Ute Indian Tribe resides on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in northeastern Utah. Three bands of Utes comprise the Ute Indian Tribe: the Whiteriver Band, the Uncompahgre Band and the Uintah Band. The Tribe has a membership of more than three thousand individuals, with over half living on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation. The Ute Indian Tribe operates its own tribal government and oversees significant oil and gas deposits on its 4.5 million acre Reservation. The Tribal Business Committee is the governing council of the Tribe.
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Responses to "Generous Colorado landowner returns ancestral land to tribe"

  1. Unknown says:

    Ah Ho ! great offering to give back Love taht the land and spirits opened his heart and mind. and the blessing of peacefulness.

  2. Unknown says:

    I imagine that they will make him an honorary member of the time an tell him that he and his descendants are forever welcome to walk the land he gave back to the tribe.

  3. Unknown says:

    I wonder if he is a reincarnation of one of the Utes who was exiled from that place in the past. That is one way to get the land back.... peacefully. In any event, a truly noble gesture has been done.

  4. Such a Wonderful thing to see! That land should ALWAYS be theirs! It belongs to them and They belong to It!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    de goden zullen je belonen voor je nobele daad

  6. Blessings and Honor sent to this gentleman from Canada. We live in the lands of the Blackfoot|Blackfeet Reservation. As a archaelogist, it is a blessing to find evidence from our people wbo walked, live and hunted on these lands before us.May Creator bless the reunification of the land once taken and returned to the Ute people.

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