DENVER, CO – Representative Barbara McLachlan today released the following statement on the first annual Tribal Council address to the General Assembly. Last session, Rep. McLachlan sponsored SB22-105 to invite representatives from the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and Southern Ute Indian to share their priorities and voices with the general assembly.
Statement from Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango:
“It is a true honor to welcome the Chairmen of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and Southern Ute Indian Tribe to the Colorado State Capitol for the first ever annual address to a joint session of the General Assembly.
“This land has been home to generations of Ute who lived here long before the state of Colorado and the federal government forced them to give up their land. As Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Chairman Manuel Heart said in his remarks, “Just as a blanket is made, our history of the Ute people should be woven into the history of Colorado.”
“It was a privilege today to hear the concerns of the Chairmen and the issues facing their communities. We cherish the government-to-government relationships we have with the Tribes in our state because the policies we pass are better when everyone has a seat at the table.
“Tribal leaders outlined their priorities, including but not limited to, land and water preservation, improving health care access and educational opportunities for their communities, economic development and cultural preservation.
“Today’s first annual remarks offer an opportunity for us to recommit ourselves to continued collaborative efforts with Colorado’s sovereign Tribal governments.”