Winter lecture features Jicarilla Apache expert

ALAMOSA — The Colorado Field Institute will host a winter lecture on the Jicarilla Apache historical connection to southern Colorado on Dec. 21, at 7 p.m. in Porter Hall Room 130, Adams State University, Alamosa.

Dr. Veronica E. Velarde Tiller will speak about the Jicarilla Apache historical connection to southern Colorado, specifically about the relationship between her great-grandfather Chief Huerito Mundo and his half-brother Chief Ouray of the Uncompahgre Utes. Mundo led his people during their forced removal from their sacred ancestral southern Colorado lands to the settlement on their present New Mexico reservation in the 1880s. Ouray counseled Mundo to accept a reservation in New Mexico, a move that was as controversial as Ouray’s concession of Ute territory in Colorado with the Treaty of 1863.

Dr. Tiller is known as “Indian Country’s Ambassador” for her intensive interaction with Indian tribes and the myriad businesses and agencies that work with them. A member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation of New Mexico, she is well known for her lifelong mission as an author and historian supporting Native American cultural and economic development. Dr. Tiller earned her Ph.D. in history from the University of New Mexico and was a professor at the University of Utah before founding Tiller Research, Inc., the leading private provider of economic information about American Indian tribes, which has taken her to numerous conferences and meetings around the world.

She is the official historian of the Jicarilla Apache Tribe and is the author of numerous books and articles on Native Americans. Tiller’s Guide to Indian Country: Economic Profiles of American Indian Reservations, published in three editions since 1996, is the most complete, widely used and relied-upon reference book about today’s Native America and the economies of its 567 tribes. Writer’s Digest magazine has just honored Tiller’s Guide as the top non-fiction self-published book of 2016. This fall Dr. Tiller, who lives in Albuquerque, became the fifth inductee to the Albuquerque, New Mexico Wall of Fame. She is currently working on a biography of her great-grandfather, Chief James Garfield Velarde (1853-1961).

The Colorado Field Institute is a nonprofit corporation organized in 2005 to promote greater stewardship of the natural and cultural resources within the San Luis Valley. For more information on this event, email [email protected] or visit