The Ute Indians were a diverse people. Various Ute Indian bands resided in what is now Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Nevada. The majority of Ute people still reside in these locations today. What is the structure of the Ute Indian nation? The United States broke up the Ute Indian Nation in 1879 by sending them to various reservations without allowing them to choose where they went. Today, there are approximately 6,000 Ute people living on three separate reservations - one in Colorado, one in New Mexico, and one in Utah. None of these reserves is large enough to support all of the Utes who live there; many have moved off the reservations and into nearby cities.
The Ute Indians had their own language, called Ute. There are only about 70 speakers left. In 2001, a new language was officially recognized by the federal government - Uto-Aztecan as the official language of the Utes. This language is spoken by several tribes in northern Mexico and parts of Arizona.
What is the name of the city in Colorado where the Ute Indians lived? It is named after a Ute chief named Suptford H. Murray. He is also known as "the father of Colorado state parks."
Ute people presently dwell mostly in Utah and Colorado, on three Ute tribal reservations: Uintah-Ouray in northern Utah (3,500 members); Southern Ute in Colorado (1,500 members); and Ute Mountain, which is mostly in Colorado but also stretches into Utah and New Mexico (2,000 members). There are also about 500 Utes living outside these reservations. Most Utes are enrolled in one of these tribes; many more remain unaffiliated with any tribe.
After removal from their homeland in 1879, many Utes were forced to settle on Indian lands along the Uinta and White Rivers in eastern Utah. They have continued to leave these areas for work as miners, ranchers, and farmers. Some Utes have also moved to Salt Lake City and other towns in Utah where they can find employment. Although most Utes who remained on the reservation after removal have pursued economic opportunities there, some have joined together to form new bands or leave the reservation for better jobs or less restrictive living conditions elsewhere.
Today, the Ute language is nearly extinct. However, several Ute elders speak some English as well, and many Utes learn English while attending school on the reservation.
The United States government recognizes the Ute tribe as a sovereign entity under the protection of the Constitution. The Ute Tribe has its own police force, court system, and budget. It also has the authority to make its own laws and enter into treaties with other nations.
The Ute are a Numic-speaking tribe of North American Indians who originated in what is now western Colorado and eastern Utah; the latter state bears their name. They were also known as the "Uintah Utes".
For many years, archaeologists believed that the Ute lived on a large reservation called the Ute Prairie Reservation before there was evidence of them being near cities or farms. In fact, the Ute had been very successful hunters and gatherers and had no need for a reservation system like other tribes in North America. In 1879, after several decades of not seeing any Utes, settlers found a small band living in caves near today's Vernal, Utah. These were the only Utes ever seen by whites.
In 1890, after another decade of not finding any Utes, explorers discovered a large Ute camp near Fort Duchesne in present-day Utah. This led to the discovery of many more campsites across southern Utah which proved that the Ute had been working hard farming and ranching to support themselves and their families.
By 1900, most of the remaining Utes had moved off their reservation and into nearby towns or counties where they worked as farmers or laborers.
There are very few Ute people left, and they now primarily live in Utah and Colorado, primarily on three Ute tribal reservations: Uintah-Ouray in northeastern Utah (3,500 members); Southern Ute in Colorado (1,500 members); and Ute Mountain, which is mostly in Colorado but also extends into Utah and New Mexico (2,000 members). There are also several other small groups of Utes that don't fall under the jurisdiction of any single tribe. They live mainly on non-tribal land in Utah and Colorado, and some have moved to the cities.
In 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a treaty with the Utes that was intended to settle their claims to lands now in Utah and Colorado. The treaty provided for the surrender of most of the Utes' weapons and ammunition, payment of $5 million for damages to Ute property, and assignment of Utes to five federal agencies for employment as guides and pack animals.
The treaty did not work out as planned. Many Utes felt like they were being forced to give up their culture and religion in return for food and clothes. Others saw the money and wanted what others had - so there were many murders among the Utes who worked for the government agencies. In addition, many Utes abandoned their tribal lands and went to Utah and Colorado to find work instead. Within a few years, only about 500 Utes remained on their tribal lands.