Chipeta Elementary

Chipeta's history by Chipeta's Great Grandson

Chipeta was born June 10, 1843 somewhere in the Conejos Colorado area. She was a Taviwach Nuche and the wife of Chief Ouray. They made their home south of the Present day Montrose along the Uncompahgre River. Chipeta was known for her compassion for peace and her steady strength in supporting her husband's goal to keep his people, the Utes in Colorado and out of harm’s way. She accompanied Ouray to Washington where she was treated as royalty and was referred to as the "Mountain Princess." She accepted all of this attention in a graceful way. People came to her for christening of their children and to ask her to cure the sick. She raised two children as if she gave birth to them, they were Cooroopoits and James McCook, Cooroopoits was the daughter of Ouray's brother and the sister of Chipeta. it is the custom of our people to give when someone cannot have. Chipeta did not have any children of her own. She was known for her beading, and for making clothing out of buckskin and giving gifts that she had made. She lost Ouray in 1880 due to Bright Disease. She was forced to move to Utah along with her people. She lived to be 81 years old living in Bitter Creek where she died on August 17, 1921. Because her grave was deteriorating so badly, her brother John, with the aid of the Indian agent in Utah arranged for her reburial on the same location of her former ranch south of Montrose, Colorado. In 1925 she was reinterred at her former ranch south of Montrose. 5,000 people attended this event. Her brother John and a family friend Yagah, were the only family members who were able to make the trip.

Roland McCoook

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