Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Ute Family Secures Return of Deceased Tribal Member Pursuant to Tribal Court Order

 


The Ute Indian Tribal Business Committee (Tribe) has announced that a deceased tribal member, Teddy Serawop has been returned to his family for proper burial. The matter relates to a dispute between Mr. Serawop’s wife and other family members as to the method of burial of Mr. Serawop. The dispute had originated in Ute Tribal Court, which concluded, by a preponderance of the evidence, that Marie Morningstar Pawwinnee was the common-law wife of the deceased. The Court issued its order after considering the testimony and evidence provided at the hearing by all parties. Pursuant to the Ute Law and Order Code, the Court determined that Ms. Pawwinnee, as the common-law wife of the deceased, was to be given sole authority to determine the method and manner on the burial of Mr. Serawop.

However, the Mortuary handling the services, Hullinger Mortuary of Roosevelt, which has a contract with the Tribe to administer burials for Tribal Members, refused to recognize the Tribal Court Order, and continued to hold Mr. Serawop’s body against the wishes of the family. Acting pursuant to the Tribal Court Order, Tribal law enforcement officers served the order upon the funeral home director, and the family members retrieved the body from the home for proper burial.

“I am shocked and dismayed at the level of disrespect and lack of sensitivity that Hullinger Mortuary has shown to the Tribe and Mr. Serawop’s family in this case” said Irene C. Cuch, Tribal Chairwoman. “Hullinger Morturary has shown they have no respect for the cultural ways of the Ute Indian People, and they should be ashamed of the pain and suffering they have caused Mr. Serawop’s family.” said the Chairwoman. The Business Committee also sated “the funeral home’s refusal to recognize and act in accordance with a lawful order of the Ute Tribal Court, and the disrespectful manner in which they have treated Mr. Serawop and his family demonstrates the level of unequal treatment and institutional racism our Tribal Members routinely face each day in Duchesne and Uintah Counties, and this type of conduct will no longer be tolerated by the Ute Indian Tribe” Mr. Serawop was laid to rest by his family the morning of November 14, 2012, in a ceremony in Randlett, Utah, pursuant to the cultural traditions of the Ute Indian Tribe.

 
 

Reader Comments(3)

RHackford writes:

The plaintiff that was granted common law wife of my brother was already married to another man by Judge McCRee in Vernal Utah Dec 2010, already to another man, but lied under oath that she wasn't married to another man. The Tribal BC had a copy of her marriage certificate before the fish and game and the serawops stole my brother so they knew she couldn't be my brothers life. and what about the pain and anguish that we Teddys family born and raised that the serawops & tribal BC caused us?

RHackford writes:

CONT. No all evidence and testamonies were not heard. For I had just heard about this hearing only 15mins before the hearing and so I rushed to the court house, was not allowed even as much as an hour to get the evidence that I had at my house which was only a 10 min drive away from the court, was not even heard, or even allowed to keep the original hearing date that we had scheduled which was changed to the day of this hearing, we were not even as much as notified of the hearing.NO DUE PROCESS.

RHackford writes:

Just happned across ur article about my deceased blood brother Teddy Serawop and thought Id set a few things right about ur article... First off when the officers that helped steal my brother were not tribal officers but only tribal fish and game. second the court order that they served to take my brother was not even signed by a judge and third when his supposed common law wife was granted the right as common law wife they say testimony and evidence was heard from all parties present, No..CONT.

 
 
 

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