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Marvin Pinnecoose and Marjorie Barry sworn into Southern Ute Tribal Council

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Clark Adomaitis/KSUT/KSJD
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Marjorie D. Barry spoke at the Southern Ute Tribal Council swearing-in ceremony.

The Southern Ute Council Chambers were decorated with Christmas lights and holiday greenery. The round room was full of Southern Ute employees, family members, and members of neighboring tribes.

Marvin Pinnecoose is one of the two newly elected tribal council members. He formerly worked for Nike for 19 years as a liaison of Native American projects, and he worked for the Southern Ute Cultural Preservation Department.

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Clark Adomaitis/KSUT/KSJD
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Marvin Pinnecoose was sworn in to his seat on the Southern Ute Tribal Council.

I grew up in hay, mud, around horses. I never saw myself as a politician either. I am an introvert by nature. My arenas where I find comfort are fancy dancing, bear dancing, business understanding, retail management, and corporate initiatives. This time, it is my family's legacy. It is my son's legacy. It is my daughter's legacy,” Pinnecoose said in his inaugural speech.

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Marjorie D. Barry was awarded a tribal blanket in honor of her work on the council.

Marjorie D. Barry was re-elected to the council. She had been serving since 2019. Council Chair Melvin J. Baker spoke about his work with Barry through the difficulties of the pandemic.

“It was a struggle because of COVID, how we were going to take care of our people. I think we really counted on you when it came to the health because you've worked with the health department for many years,” Baker said.

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A drum group plays at the swearing-in event.

The ceremony also honored council member Ramona Y. Eagle, who is finishing her term. Council member Lorelei Cloud addressed Eagle in her remarks. Cloud acknowledged that tribal members can disagree but still treat one another with respect.

“I’m happy to have served the few years that I did with you. A lot of times we didn't agree with each other. But we did agree on some things. You work very well on a team, regardless of whether we lost battles or we won battles. I think that shows that we're here for our people,” Cloud remarked.

The ceremony ended with Barry and Pinnecoose being sworn in and accepting their seats among the other council members.

Clark Adomaitis is a Durango transplant from New York City. He is a recent graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, where he focused on reporting and producing for radio and podcasts. He reported sound-rich stories on the state of recycling and compost in NYC.
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