“We will walk south toward the San Juan Mountains, seeing the mountains that she saw and lived in,” said Museum Director CJ Brafford.
Chipeta, a Tabeguache Ute, was born June 10, 1843, near the present Conejos, Colo. At age 16, she married to Ouray, who later become the chief of the Uncompahgre and Tabeguache Utes.
Both Chipeta and Ouray became leaders respected for their work in keeping the peace between the white settlers and the native tribes.
Ouary died in 1880, and in September of 1881, the tribes were removed from the Uncompahgre Valley to a Utah reservation, where Chipeta remained until her death in 1924. Her remains were returned to the valley and buried in the Chief Ouray Memorial Park, now grounds of the museum and the start of the Chipeta Walk.
The three-mile walk starts at 8 a.m. at the museum, on 17253 Chipeta Road, just off of Highway 550 south of Montrose.
The day's events continue at 10 a.m. with a Native American tradition – storytelling.
Lucinda Cloud, from the Southern Ute Tribe and a descendant of Chief Ouray's sister, will share the oral traditions passed down by her ancestors.
At 11:30 a.m., Navajo and education curator Char Kroger will demonstrate rug weaving, and share stories about her Navajo people.
The rug weaving ties into the museum's “Woven in Spirit” opening, which includes a Navajo rug show and sale.
The rug show displays work from Navajo women; profits go directly to support families through the Adopt-a-Native-Elder Program, Brafford said.
Those rugs will be displayed through the end the month at the museum.
Also part of the Saturday event is a frybread-making class, at 1:30 p.m. The class costs $20 per person and supplies are provided. Everyone wanting to participate is asked to bring a bowl to take home filled with fry bread dough, to share with their families. Participants also will make enough dough to cook and eat during the event. Brafford ask that people call the museum ahead of time to sign up for the frybread-making class, at 970/249-3098.
“It will be a fun day for people to come out, in short, to honor, respect and remember Chipeta,” she said.
Kati O'Hare at firstname.lastname@example.org