Children (6 & Under)
The museum welcomes visitors with a stunning building and exhibition connecting the past with contemporary Ute life and culture. Exhibitions focus on the Ute peoples' history of adaptation and persistence, and unfold around a central theme of geography, highlighting significant locations in Ute history and Ute cultural survival, political self-determination, economic opportunity and the celebration of the Bear Dance.
Nestled in the heart of traditional Ute territory, the museum was originally built in 1956 near the ranch of Uncompahgre leader, Chief Ouray, and his wife Chipeta. The museum and grounds are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The grounds include Chief Ouray memorial park, the grave where Chipeta was buried after her death on reservation lands in Utah in 1924, and a native plants garden. The complex also includes shady picnic areas, walking paths, a memorial to the Spanish conquistadors who traveled through the area in 1776 and a link to the citywide trail system. The museum features an expanded gift shop offering authentic Native American turquoise and silver jewelry, Native American beadwork, Ute pottery, children's gifts and books and new community spaces for events and programs.
History Colorado continues to work with representatives of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Southern Ute Tribe and Ute Indian Tribe of Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Utah on every aspect of developing the building’s design and exhibit content. Led by Ute Indian Museum Director CJ Brafford of the Oglala and Lakota tribes, the museum is a place of learning, connection and community, and a legacy for the tribal youth and the Montrose community. The exhibits at the Ute Indian Museum won the 2018 National Association for Interpretation's Media Award for interior exhibit.