For Tribal Chairman Manuel Heart and the Ute Mountain Ute tribe, food means more than just nourishment; it’s a way to connect with the land they’ve lived on for generations.
“A long time ago [members] used to go up in the mountains. In early spring, you’d see wild onions around the mountain. Mid-summer, you’d start to see berries starting to come out. Potatoes, carrots, just things that grow out in the wild,” Chairman Heart told us. “Our Creator put us on these mountains as stewards. And we roamed these mountains to get our food and live and thrive as we took care of [them].”
Part of Chairman Heart’s role as Chairman is to ensure all members have access to nutrition education and healthy meals. He also recognizes that partnering with other entities is crucial for their success, which includes hosting a Care and Share Mobile Food Pantry once a month on the reservation.
“We really appreciate the Care and Share program for being a partner to the Ute Mountain Ute tribe. You can see around the community that everybody is thankful for this partnership,” said Chairman Heart. “It doesn’t matter where you come from or who you are, we are working together for the same goals and objectives. To take care of everyone.”