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Letter to Senator Orrin Hatch, (R)Utah

From Oranna B. Felter, Lead Plaintiff.
Dated August 23, 2007

Senator Orrin G. Hatch - Utah
104 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington D.C. 20510-4402

Dear Senator Hatch,

Thank You for your kind letter of July 18, 2007. I truly appreciate your taking time to respond to my concerns. I fear, however, that I have not been sufficiently explicit in my communication with you; please allow me to clarify:

In your letter to me, you said: “As you know, the mixed blood Ute Indians voted to Terminate tribal status in the 1950’s.”

Senator Hatch, I must respectfully challenge the above assertion. Although the Congressional record indicates that a vote of the mixed-blood Utes was taken, we now have documented proof, buried for many years, that there was in fact no such vote and that the “meeting” that took place and that was subsequently reported as a “vote” in favor of termination was staged by persons misusing their substantial power and influence in order to give the impression of legitimacy so they could intentionally and willfully deceive Congress, the BIA, and the people of this nation into believing that the criteria for voluntary termination and implementation of the Ute Partition Act had been met.

You also stated: that “since the enactment of the Ute Partition Act, there have been at least 24 Federal lawsuits filed claiming that the vote to terminate ute tribal status was illegitimate.”

Yes, there have been at least that many. Doesn’t it strike you as odd, Senator, that so many lawsuits would be filed for the same “frivolous” reason, that so many people would gather what few precious financial and emotional resources they had available to them just to complain, if there were no genuine basis for those people affected by the Ute Partiton Act; we are told that we are citizens of the United States and of the Great State of Utah. As members of your constituency, are we not at least as deserving of your serious attention as those who live in more populated and prosperous areas of the State? Senator Hatch, it seems to me that the sheer number of lawsuits on this issue filed over the past fifty-plus years strongly suggests the need for serious inquiry into the methods and instruments used to bring about the enactment of the Ute Partiton Act. Unfortunately, those in the best position to conduct such an inquiry have always been and continue to be the successors of those whose deception and fraud forced the Ute Partiton Act into being in the first place. Senator, you are one of those successors. By failing to investigate the evidence that is now available, you are choosing to remain in the group of those who have been duped, those who are guilty of harming untold numbers of your fellow Utahans.

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