Gary Hayes, right, of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. Photo: History Colorado
Politics | Trust

Ute Mountain Ute Tribe leader faces recall over trust settlement





Gary Hayes, the chairman of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe of Colorado, was an honored guest at the White House in April but it looks like some people back home don't want him around anymore.

Hayes participated in a press conference in Washington, D.C., to announce $1 billion in settlements for tribal trust cases. His tribe accepted $42.6 million to resolve mismanagement claims against the federal government.

The settlement is now the source of dissent on the reservation as some members are circulating a recall petition against Hayes. They say the failure to distribute the funds on a per capita basis marks another failure of their leadership.

“The money helped us to see that people haven’t been given a voice and that things haven’t been done right," Regina Lopez told The Durango Herald.

In anticipation of the settlement, the tribe agreed to make payments to its members. But the amount to be distributed -- $2,000 to each adult and $1,000 to each minor -- represents less than 10 percent of the total settlement.

Get the Story:
Tribal members attempt recall (The Durango Herald 6/15)

Related Stories:
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe distributes trust fund to its members (05/09)
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe accepts $42.6M in trust settlement (4/24)