UINTAH BASIN STANDARD
Letters to the Editor
AUC responds to Felter group
26 Aug. 2008
We would like to respond to an article published in the Uintah Basin Standard, dated Aug. 6, under the headline "Mixed-blood Utes petition for repeal or completion of UPA."
The affiliated members of the Ute Indian Tribe have the only legally-authorized, duly-appointed representatives to speak for them in the body of the Affiliated Ute Citizens and we have never relinquished our authority to anyone else. Further, the Ute Indian Tribe is not going to let anyone supersede its authority, especially someone who is no longer an enrolled member and has no asset interests in the Ute Indian Tribe.
Oranna Felter is misrepresenting herself by implying that she has some kind of authority to take actions on behalf of the mixed-bloods and full-bloods of the Ute Indian Tribe in regard to the Ute Partition Act of 1954 and she is misrepresenting the facts regarding the Ute Partition Act.
She may be the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against the U.S. government but it does not seek to overturn the UPA, and she has her facts wrong. The Ute Partition Act was just that: a partition act, which was in fact completed by 1961.
The truth is the Uintah & Ouray Reservation Termination Act was never implemented by the Congress of the United States because the Ute Indian Tribe – mixed-blood and full-blood – did not agree to be terminated in 1964.
In a letter to Margaret Reed from Sen. Inouye, then chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, dated Feb. 7, 1991, he states: "Section 24 of the Act (UPA) did contemplate the "eventual" termination of the Ute Indian Tribe and directed the Secretary of the Interior to file an annual report with Congress advising of the progress in developing a plan for such purpose. In 1975, when the period of "termination" was in disrepute, the 1954 Act was amended to delete the provision requiring this annual report. There is no current proposal for termination of the Ute Indian Tribe."
Termination for the Ute Indian Tribe, which includes the original 490 affiliated members, was officially withdrawn by Congress in 1975.
The 490 original affiliated members of the Ute Indian Tribe, a federally recognized tribe, would like Oranna Felter or any of her followers to prove to us that we are congressionally terminated. The BIA has not been able to do it through their records and Sen. Inouye says it never happened and will not now happen. Perhaps she and her colleagues have the magic wand.
The National Congress of American Indians told Oranna's attorney, Dennis Chappabitty, in June of this year that in order to repeal the UPA they would have to petition the Ute Indian Tribe (the Ute Tribe Business Committee and the Affiliated Ute Citizens) to have the act repealed since they are the only ones who can do it. Thus far no such petition has been presented to either entity.
Denial is a terrible thing. Sooner or later Oranna and her purported followers will have to accept the fact that there is no such thing as “terminated Utes,” “terminated mixed-bloods," or terminated anything from the Uintah and Ouray Reservation that she so proudly touts as being something factual.
No one is to blame for anything, including her misinformation. That is just the way it is. She and her colleagues need to get over it and give it a rest!
Affiliated Ute Citizens of the Ute Indian Tribe - Letter to Editor