Among the Ute people, late Spring is the time for Bear Dance. They’re annual events that run for several days and are open to both Native Americans and non-natives.

In recent years, hundreds of people attended Bear Dances in Ute communities in Colorado and Utah. But this year, because of COVID, they’re limited to small, one-day ceremonies. The Southern Ute Tribe’s Bear Dance was held June 12 in the town of Ignacio.

Independent Producer Adam Burke of the KSUT radio series Native Braids met with Southern Ute Bear Dance Chief Matthew Box during this year’s event. He produced this audio postcard.

Native Braids is a co-production of KSUT Tribal Radio and Burke.


This story was written and produced by KSUT in partnership with COLab, the Colorado News Collaborative — a nonprofit formed to strengthen local public-service journalism in Colorado. KSUT joined this historic collaboration with more than 40 news organizations to share in-depth local reporting to better serve Coloradans.