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Northern Ute Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Ute Reservation of Utah

The Uintah and Ouray Reservation is located in northeastern Utah, 150 miles east of Salt Lake City, and 40 miles west of the Colorado border. Elevation varies from 5,000 feet to 13,000 feet. The Uintah Mountains, running east and west, are located along the reservationís northern border. The Green River runs along the western border of the reservationís southern segment, which at one time was the Uncompahgre Reservation.

Original Ute territory encompassed most of Colorado and Utah as well as portions of New Mexico and Arizona. Bands of Utes roamed this region, and by the late 1600s, they were following buffalo herds on the plains with their belongings packed on horses.

When the Mormons settled in the Wasatch Valley in the 1840s, they tried to convert the Utes, as the Book of Mormon said that dark-skinned people were the chosen people. Some Utes accepted the Mormon religion and became farmers; others resisted. In the following years, as the Mormons encroached more and more onto Ute land, fighting began. Following a major battle, the Mormons asked the government for removal of the Utah bands. They were placed on the Uintah Valley Reservation in 1861 by President Lincoln.

In 1881, Ute bands in Colorado were also restricted to the Uintah Valley Reservation. Two more bands were sent to the newly established Uncompahgre Reservation in eastern Utah in 1882. In 1886, the Uintah and Ouray agencies consolidated as the Uintah and Ouray Ute Reservation, which expanded in 1882 to include the more southerly Uncompahgre Reservation and the Hill Creek Extension in 1948.

General Information
Tribal enrollment is 3,174. The Northern Ute Indian Tribe operates five enterprises: Ute Lanes (bowling), Tribal Feedlot, Water Systems, Loan Program, and Ute Petroleum. Cattle raising is an important activity on the reservation, and the Tribal Feedlot is where the tribe maintains its cattle. Water Systems manages water and sewer needs for four communities. The Loan Program provides loans to tribal members, and Ute Petroleum is the tribeís gas stations.

Mineral resources are an economic asset, and total Ute Indian oil production averages over 1,000 barrels a day. Most of the reservationís communities have a post office, general store, and clothing stores. Auto repair shops are also located on the reservation.

Nearby Flaming Gorge on the Green River is a local tourist attraction, as is Fort Duchesne, formerly an army post. The annual Northern Ute Bear Dance, a ladiesí-choice social dance unique to the Utes, is held in late April or early May. The tribe also offers an annual powwow in the summer.

Children attend public schools on or near the reservation.

Disaster Risks and Assessment

bulletHazardous Materials: Oil and gas development on the reservation represent a potential hazardous material danger.

bulletFlooding: The mountainous nature of Northern Ute tribal lands makes the reservation vulnerable to flash flooding.

bulletEarthquake: Seismologists are watching closely activity along the Wasatch Fault, which runs directly through Northern Ute tribal lands

Emergency Management Capacity
Not Available

Northern Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Ute Reservation
P.O. Box 190
Fort Duchesne, UT 84026
Fax: 435-722-2374

Information from:


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