Brunot Agreement Map
The federal government recognized the importance of minerals and began negotiating with the Utes in 1872 to get the San Juan Mountains out of the reserve. The first attempt at an agreement was a dissumentable failure. In 1872, John D. Lang of Maine, Governor of Colorado Edward M. McCook, and John McDonald of Missouri were appointed commissioners to carry out negotiations that began on August 26, 1872 at the Piños Indian Agency. Although no official member of the Commission was present, Mr. Felix R. Brunot, Chairman of the Board of Indian Commissioners, was present. Almost all of the Ute groups and the Apaches of Jicarilla were represented by chiefs, and the government recognized Chief Ouray, a tabeguache Ute, as the general leader of the Ute. Many government officials and almost all Indian agents of the respective groups also participated in the meeting. Suspicious of government and territorial officials, the Utes categorically refused to sell anything from their reserve, not wanting the government to live up to its obligations under the 1868 treaty by suppressing the invaders. If a final agreement is developed, probably within a few months, officials will submit it to the Wildlife Commission and tribal councils for approval.
Unlike the agreements between the U.S. government and Native Americans, brunot`s agreement was not a treaty; Treaties were considered agreements between sovereign nations, and the U.S. government no longer recognized Native American sovereignty after 1871. The government was paying for the country. But the agreement contained a provision that allowed tribes to hunt in the area “as long as the grass grew.” Ouray, of the Uncompahgre group, was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln as chief of all Ute tribes, which was not agreed to by the southern groups of Ute. The first reservation created by the 1868 treaty included about 1/3 of present-day Colorado, mainly the mountainous regions west of the continental basin. When precious metals and minerals were discovered in the central mountains, settlers sought access to the land. The Brunot Agreement was launched in 1873.
This agreement limited the reserve to the narrow strip of land now called the Southern Ute Reservation….