Lorelei Cloud Makes History in a Critical Time as First Tribal Council Member on the Colorado Water Conservation Board

Lorelei Cloud joined the Colorado Water Conservation Board in March as the first tribal council member to serve in the position.

Cloud, the vice chair of the Southern Ute Tribal Council, was appointed to the position by Gov. Jared Polis. She joins the board at a critical time for water not just in Colorado, but across the American West.

As the representative for the San Miguel-Dolores-San Juan drainage basin, she represents land that covers not just the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute reservations, but also 10 counties in southwestern Colorado.

She spoke to Colorado Matters about including Indigenous voices in water discussions and the challenges ahead for the Colorado River.

Lorelei Cloud is the First-Ever Tribal Member on Colorado’s Top Water Board. Here’s How She Plans to Tackle Her New Role.

With Western water challenges in mind, Lorelei Cloud has a message for policymakers: There should be room for partnerships — not fear — when Native American tribes join the negotiating table.

In March, Cloud became one of the newest members of the state’s top water agency, the Colorado Water Conservation Board, when Gov. Jared Polis appointed her to represent the San Miguel-Dolores-San Juan drainage basin in southwestern Colorado. She’s also the first known tribal member to hold a seat on the board since its creation in 1937.