A race against time to document Native American shelters

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A race against time to document Native American shelters

Project aims to record historic Ute structures in Southwest Colorado
The Colorado Wickiup Project has identified a number of wooden shelters built by Utes, known as wickiups, mostly in Northwest Colorado. The project hopes to document the structures in Southwest Colorado.

A race against time to document Native American shelters

The Colorado Wickiup Project has identified a number of wooden shelters built by Utes, known as wickiups, mostly in Northwest Colorado. The project hopes to document the structures in Southwest Colorado.

A race against time to document Native American shelters

Wickiups served as basic, temporary structures for Native people who were on the move, either to hunting lands or ceremonial sites.

A race against time to document Native American shelters

Curtis Martin, who is leading the Wickiup Project, says valuable information can be gathered from studying wickiup sites. For instance, there was evidence Utes remained in Colorado, even after Western settlers banned them from the land.

A race against time to document Native American shelters

Utes once occupied a vast swath of the West before a series of treaties forced them onto reservations. Still, evidence of their occupation of lands can be seen through historic sites like wickiups.

A race against time to document Native American shelters

Since 2003, the Wickiup Project has been documenting wickiups before they deteriorate. Once it hits the ground, a wooden wickiup can quickly disappear.

A race against time to document Native American shelters

Native people used the resources around them to survive. Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, a former Ute Mountain Ute councilwoman, said indigenous people have an inherent respect for the land.
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