About Us

Letter from CCIA Executive Director

Mike` Teguvan,

Thank you for visiting Colorado Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne's Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs website. Our office has the unique opportunity to serve as the official liaison between the Southern Ute Indian and Ute Mountain Ute Tribes and the State of Colorado. The State and sovereign tribal government relationship is founded on a solid government-to-government relationship. The Commission ensures direct contact with the Tribes and also with Colorado’s urban Indian communities.

As Executive Director of the Commission, I am committed to facilitating communication between the Southern Ute Indian and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribes and other American Indian organizations, state agencies, and affiliated groups. Our ongoing goal is to positively impact the lives of Colorado’s American Indians and communities statewide.

Our office is available to assist you in navigating state government, contacting the Lieutenant Governor and other state officials, applying to serve on a state board or commission, and more. Please search and navigate this website and let us know what you think!

We welcome your questions and comments, please contact us.

Again, thank you for your time and hope to see you soon – Towaoc!

Ernest House, Jr.
Executive Director
Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Member

2013 Quarterly Meeting
Representatives from the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian Tribes have a direct line of communication to the Lt. Governor’s office. Here, during the December 2013 quarterly meeting, former Lt. Governor Garcia takes notes as Executive Director Ernest House, Jr. explains upcoming legislation affecting tribal communities.

History of CCIA

In 1976, the Colorado General Assembly created the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs (CCIA) within the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. The Commission was designed to be the official liaison between the two Ute Tribes and the State of Colorado. The Commission is fully committed to work on a government-to-government basis with each of the two Tribal governments and to maintain direct contact with the Tribes and urban Indian communities. Specific duties of CCIA are outlined in the Mandated Responsibilities:

CCIA Enabling Statute, C.R.S. 24-44-101 et seq. statutory duties are set forth at C.R.S. 24-44-103. It is the duty of the commission

  • To coordinate intergovernmental dealings between tribal governments and this state;
  • To investigate the needs of Indians of this state and to provide technical assistance in the preparation of plans for the alleviation of such needs;
  • To cooperate with and secure the assistance of the local, state, and federal governments or any agencies thereof in formulating and coordinating programs regarding Indian affairs adopted or planned by the federal government so that the full benefit of such programs will accrue to the Indians of this state;
  • To review all proposed or pending legislation and amendments to existing legislation affecting Indians in this state;
  • To study the existing status of recognition of all Indian groups, tribes, and communities presently existing in this state;
  • To employ and fix the compensation of an executive secretary of the commission, who shall carry out the responsibilities of the commission;
  • To petition the general assembly for funds to effectively administer the commission's affairs and to expend funds in compliance with state regulations;
  • To accept and receive gifts, funds, grants, bequests, and devices for use in furthering the purposes of the commission;
  • To contract with public or private bodies to provide services and facilities for promoting the welfare of the Indian people;
  • To make legislative recommendations;
  • To make and publish reports of findings and recommendations.

Structure of CCIA

The Lieutenant Governor serves in the statutory role as chair of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs. CCIA is proud to have 11 voting commissioners and several non-voting members who represent various interests within the Native American community.

Additionally, CCIA has four main committees:

  • Economic Opportunities and Resources
  • Education
  • Health and Wellness
  • Reinterment

 For more information about CCIA’s committees, please visit the committees' Initiatives page.

List of CCIA Members

Voting Members

  • Donna Lynne
    CCIA Chairperson | Lt. Governor
    Lt. Governor's Office
     
  • Harold Cuthair
    Tribal Chairman
    Ute Mountain Ute Tribe
     
  • Juanita Plentyholes
    Tribal Councilwoman
    Ute Mountain Ute Tribe
  • Clement Frost
    Tribal Chairman
    Southern Ute Indian Tribe

  • Amy Barry
    Tribal Councilwoman
    Southern Ute Indian Tribe

  • Chantalle Hanschu
    County and Tribal Liason
    CO. Dept. of Human Services

  • Robert Randall
    Executive Director
    CO. Dept. of Natural Resources

  • Web Brown
    Director
    CO. Dept. of Public Health & Environment

  • Patrick Rondinelli
    Southwest Regional Manager
    CO. Dept. of Local Affairs

  • Lucille Echohawk
    VISTA Volunteer
    Spirit of the Sun

  • Sheldon Spotted Elk
    Director
    Casey Family Programs

Ex-Officio (non-voting) Members

  • Ernest House Jr.
    CCIA Executive Director
    Office of the Lt. Governor
     
  • Michael McVaugh
    Region 5 Director
    CO. Dept. of Transportation
     
  • Georgina Owen
    Title VI Coordinator
    CO. Dept. of Education
     
  • Vacant
    CO. Dept. of Health Care Policy & Financing
     
  • Kirk Machin
    Manager
    CO. Dept. of Corrections
     
  • Steve Moore
    Staff Attorney
    Native American Rights Fund
     
  • Steve Turner
    Executive Director
    History Colorado
     
  • Boby Troyer
    Acting U.S. Attorney
    Colorado U.S. Attorney
     
  • Elsa Ramirez
    Acting Regional Director & Executive Officer
    U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services Region VIII
     
  • Vacant
    CO. Dept. of Regulatory Agencies
     
  • Julie Westendorff
    County Commissioner
    La Plata County
     
  • Lori Haukeness
    Superintendent
    Montezuma-Cortez School District
     
  • Dr. Rocco Fuschetto
    Superintendent
    Ignacio School District
     
  • Tom Hooten
    County Extension Director
    Montezuma County
     
  • Jose Esquibel
    Director 
    Office of Community Engagement | Colorado Department of Law