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The original item was published from 11/13/2020 9:53:55 AM to 11/13/2020 9:55:26 AM.

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City of Steamboat Springs NEWS

Posted on: November 13, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Indigenous Peoples of Yampa Valley Recognized

Indigenous People Proclamation NewsFlash

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-November 13, 2020-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, Colorado, through a proclamation during the City Council meeting on Tuesday, November 17, 2020. 

“The Yampa Valley and all that is enjoyed today dates back to the lands first inhabitants, the Ute tribe,” said City Manager Gary Suiter. “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.” 

The Ute Indians Nuche (pronounced “Nooch” and meaning “the people”) 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 that 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 evident past of the Indigenous Peoples of the Yampa Valley is recognized as a valued and rich source of heritage, education, reflection, and celebration for all guests and members of the Steamboat Springs community, and the city recognizes the need to increase our efforts to include this in civic life and events. 

November is Native American Heritage Month and a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month also provides a time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.

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 City Council meeting next week around 5pm. 


Gary Suiter, City Manager, 970.879.2060 or email
Tom Leeson, Deputy City Manager, 970.879.2060 or email

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