National | Politics

Southern Ute Tribe elects woman as chair for only second time in recent history




The Southern Ute Tribe inaugurated three new leaders, all newcomers to politics on the reservation.

Christine Baker Sage.
Photo: Southern Ute Tribe
Christine Sage was sworn into office as chairman on Monday morning after winning a run-off election on Friday. She is only the second woman to lead the tribe in its recent history.

“I am looking forward to working with all officials on a tribal, city, county, state, and national level,” Sage said in a press release after the inauguration, held at the Sky Ute Casino and Resort Event Center in Ignacio, Colorado.

Though Sage is only the second woman to serve as chair, she comes from a family of leadership. Her late father, Christopher A. Baker Sr., held the post from 1985 to 1987. Other Bakers have served as chair and on the council as well.

Sage is a newcomer to politics, though. She threw her hat in the ring this year and faced six other candidates in the November 2 general election.

Tribal citizens whittled down the list to Sage and Shane Seibel, another newcomer. Sage emerged victorious after the run-off on Friday.

Two other newcomers were also elected to the council in the run-off. Cheryl A. Frost and Cedric J. Chavez will be serving three year terms on the tribe's governing body.

Sage succeeds Clement Frost, who retired last month after serving three terms as chair and numerous times on the council.

Pearl E. Casias was the tribe's first female chair. She served in 2011.