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Ms. Felter said, “We have put lawsuit after lawsuit in the courts and we have been kicked out each time. We don’t have any income so we’ve had to do this on donations from our people who are not rich.
After years and years of struggles to regain what we lost, our lands, gas, oil, minerals, and our identity, we are fed up. My people are old and tired, our babies on the rolls are now in their early 60s and I have seen horror stories you could never imagine that has happened to my people. I told my kids the hardest fight I ever had to fight was to be who I am and who I was born, an American Indian.”
She added, “When your own tribe is kicking you in the teeth because they don’t want to share with you, it’s pretty damned hard.”
The 490 terminated Ute Indians said no to termination. And yet because they were of mixed-blood, they were singled out for termination while the rest full bloods of the Ute Tribe were not.
In 1975, Congress set up the American Indian Policy Review Commission headed by Senator James Abourezk of South Dakota and Congressman Lloyd Meeds of Washington. Task Force Ten, under this Commission, was headed by Jo Jo Hunt with members, John Stevens, Robert V. Bojarcas and George E. Tomer. Their job was to investigate “Terminated and Non Federally Recognized American Indians and the effects of Termination.
They visited the Ute Reservation and named the 490 terminated mixed-bloods “The Terminated Uinta Band of Utes of Utah.” The Task Force determined that “Termination was another “experiment” however ill-conceived and destructive with no controls and no provisions for reversal. Termination was not initiated by the Indians, was not adequately understood by them and was not for the most part “not consented by them.”
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