The Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum was developed by the tribe to examine the history and culture of the Southern Utes through a collection of more than 1,500 artifacts and multimedia and traditional exhibits. The 52,000-square-foot building also contains arts and crafts classrooms and community rooms.
The $38 million facility opened in 2011 in Ignacio, which is on the Southern Ute Reservation 24 miles southeast of Durango and serves as the home for the tribe’s headquarters and offices. It is the only tribally owned cultural center in Colorado.
The permanent gallery includes early rock art left behind by the first Utes and a camp scene reminiscent of days when the Utes roamed the Western Slope. It also tells how the Utes were placed on reservations and boarding schools and how they live today.
Outside the cultural center is an exhibit that tells how the Utes used native trees, plants, and flowers for food, medicine, and ceremonial objects. The 8 1/2 acres also has walking trails and a corral for events demonstrating the vital role of horses for the Utes.
Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum
77 County Road 517
Ignacio, CO 81137