In the late 1800s, the Southern Ute Tribe consisted of three bands: the Weeminuche, the Muache and the Capote Utes. Chief Ignacio was the leader of the Weeminuche. In 1880, he was part of the Ute delegation that traveled to Washington, D.C., to testify before Congress about the 1879 Meeker Massacre and the Ute uprising among the Northern Utes on the White River. Although his group was not involved in that violence, Congress nonetheless forced them on to reservations. The southern bands were able to stay in Colorado and named their capital Ignacio in honor of this chief. Chief Ignacio and the Weeminuche people later moved to the western part of the Southern Ute Reservation in 1896 and established their own Ute Mountain Ute Reservation there, with Towaoc as their capital. There are three federally recognized tribes of the Ute people: the Uintah-Ouray Tribe of northeastern Utah, the Southern Ute Tribe and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. In this postcard picture of Chief Ignacio, he wears a badge that reads: Indian Police.
Ed Horvat for The Animas Museum, email@example.com