Southern Ute Museum Closes After Losing Nonprofit Status

The Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum in Ignacio is closing as it is losing its nonprofit designation.

The Durango Herald reports that officials from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian this week are in town to box up items loaned to the tribe.

The tribe announced in March that the museum was losing nonprofit designation because it failed to uphold a contractual agreement to become financially independent. The tribe dialed to meet a deadline to raise $5 million over five years. Now artifacts on loan must go back to donors or be renegotiated with the tribe.

Museum Director Linda Baker declined to comment.