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City needs ‘training in diversity, tribal sovereignty’

One of the really special things about living in our area is the opportunity to interact with our multicultural neighbors. I have followed the conflict between the city of Durango and the Southern Ute Tribe. Having attended the City Council’s special meeting to address the legislative actions of the tribe, I am not surprised that the situation developed and escalated.

As a resident of Durango, I am appalled at the lack of understanding of cultural difference exhibited by city staff members and Council.

This misunderstanding of the complexity of interaction with a sovereign nation has resulted in the current very public and unnecessary conflict with the Southern Utes.

The Strategic Plan 2023 to 2026 includes a statement of diversity, “We are dedicated to services, programming, collections, and spaces that serve our entire community.”

How are you addressing this? The Community Relations Commission has been sandbagged by the Council. Looking at the current brouhaha, this is a mistake.

At the very least, the councilors, the city attorney, city manager and any management who interact with the tribe should take a training in diversity with an emphasis on tribal sovereignty.

Julie Cooley