Carol Berry
Colorado Lt. Gov. Joseph Garcia, chairman of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs (CCIA), took part in a photo opportunity with Ute royalty who came to Denver to extend tribal greetings at the Denver March Powwow but also attended a CCIA meeting March 21, where the possibility of increasing tribes’ revenues through an all-Indian rodeo was among topics discussed. The young royals, from left, Jazmin Carmenoros, 11, Jr. Miss Southern Ute; Yllana Howe, 9, Little Miss Southern Ute; and Tauri Raines, 5, Little Miss Southern Ute Alternate.

Young Utes Get Red Carpet Greeting at Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs Meeting, All Native Rodeo Discussed

Carol Berry


As befits royalty, some special attention was given to young Utes who attended the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs (CCIA) events in their special regalia, prior to offering their tribes’ official greetings at the Denver March Powwow.

Young princesses (and a Little Brave) of the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Tribes were offered special seating in the Colorado General Assembly March 22, where some of them led the Pledge of Allegiance and where Terry Knight, Ute Mountain Ute cultural leader, offered the invocation.

The youngsters had posed for photos earlier with Lt. Gov. Joseph Garcia, CCIA chairman, breakfasted with legislators, and later watched as Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed off on a bill to modernize CCIA’s charter. Only then did they get ready to powwow.

Some of the regular CCIA business was light-hearted as one item stood out the most. Michelle Fix-Westfall, a member of CCIA’s economic development committee presented the idea of an all-Indian rodeo as a possible revenue source for tribes. The rodeo is currently in the “thinking stage” she said.

Although nothing is concrete, she and others will try to pick up some pointers and information from the Rodeo All-Star Weekend in Denver April 4 – 6 which is expected to draw at least 3,500 people including contestants vying for a $140,000 grand prize.

“All-Star Weekends are popular sporting events nationwide, netting host cities significant profits in tourism revenue,” a press release stated.

The All-Star Rodeo will be at the National Western Stock Show Complex, cited by the CCIA as a possible venue for an All-Indian event that could be linked to the annual National Western Stock Show or perhaps Denver March Powwow.

The outlook either way could be beneficial for the two Ute tribes along with all American Indians in Colorado.

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Brandi Raines's picture
Brandi Raines
Submitted by Brandi Raines on
Love the picture of my daughter and other royalty