"If it's a fight they want, it's a fight they'll get"
-Shaun Chapoose, Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee,
Inter-Tribal Coalition on Bears Ears Representative.
The Utah Public Lands Initiative violates laws and the federal-tribal trust relationship. MORE INFO >>
Indian land in danger
*Last Updated 11/30/18
In 2016, Congressman Rob Bishop attempted to push through the U.S. House of Representatives THE FIRST INDIAN LAND GRAB IN OVER 100 YEARS. Bishop authored the Utah Public Lands Initiative, which proposed to rollback federal policy to the late 1800's, when Indian lands and resources where taken for the benefit of others. In a startling lack of transparency, Congressman Bishop had only one hearing on this 215-page bill with about 129 other land management proposals in the obscure Subcommittee on Federal Lands.
The Tribe was shocked to learn that the bill proposed to take more than 100,000 acres of Reservation lands for the State of Utah. This land is home to more than half the tribe's population. Through the efforts of Ute PAC, the Ute Indian Tribe successfully opposed and defeated that bill in the 114th Congress.
Modern day Indian land grab legislation is unacceptable!
In 2017, then-Congressman Jason Chaffetz shamelessly led the war against public lands, sacred Indian sites, and tribal sovereignty. As Chair of the House Ethics Committee, Congressman Chaffetz was tasked with watching any abuses of power that may have come out of the Executive Branch. Instead of "doing his job" (as his constituents admonished him at a legendary district town meeting), Chaffetz chose to lead the cheering section for Trump in Utah. The vast majority of Republican elected officials in Utah, led by Chaffetz personally, are asking President Trump to undo the Bears Ears National Monument, a public monument created by the outgoing President in early January 2017. Let it be noted that President Obama had to use the Antiquities Act to designate the Bears Ears Monument because of the failure of the Republican-led Congress to pass a sensible land-reform bill. The PLI was rejected as yet another legislative failure by Congressman Rob Bishop, an otherwise do-nothing Congressman with THE worst rating in Congress.
Jason Chaffetz is no longer in office, replaced by Congressman John Curtis, former mayor of Provo, Utah. Congressman Curtis has gotten off to an uneven start as Congressman in the eyes of Mountain West tribes, as he has so far followed Congressman Bishop’s path in drafting legislation to codify Trump’s massive Bears Ears Monument reduction. Representative Curtis has also proposed legislative language similar to the PLI in the form of H.R. 5727, the Emery County Bill, which as of December 1st, 2018 does NOT protect Indian Reservation land from land exchanges—Indian land grabbing—as the Ute Indian Tribe has requested. The simple fix to the Emery County Bill would be to add one sentence, excluding Indian Reservation land from being considered in land exchanges, similar to the language introduced to the Advancing Conservation and Energy Act (ACE), also introduced by Curtis.
support the fight to protect ute indian land
The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation asks for Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, to use his position to stop any and all assaults on American Indian Tribal lands, even during this lame duck period of Congress. The Tribe is also reaching out for help from U.S. citizens in forms of petition signatures as well as financial contributions.
"I've been protecting this land, long before it was a state."
Shaun Chapoose, Chairman Ute indian Tribe Business Committee
about the Ute Tribe
The Uintah and Ouray reservation is located in Northeastern Utah (Fort Duchesne) approximately 150 miles east of Salt Lake City, Utah, on US Highway 40. There are around 3,200 tribal members, and the Reservation rests within a three-county area known as the "Uintah Basin".
The second largest Indian Reservation in the United States and covers over 4.5 million acres.
Three bands of Utes comprise the Northern Ute tribe: the Whiteriver, Uncompahgre, and Uintah. The Uintah Band was first to call the Uintah Basin their home; later the Whiteriver and Uncompahgre bands were removed from Colorado to the Uintah Valley Reservation, thus creating the Uintah and Ouray Reservation. The governing Ute body uses the band system. Each band elects two representatives to four-year terms in two-year cycles.