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Chipeta was the wife, confidant, and advisor to Chief Ouray of the Tabeguache band of Ute Indians in the mountain regions of Colorado. After Ouray's death in 1880, Chipeta continued as a leader of her people through times of challenge and hardship until her death in 1924. Chipeta was respected as a wise woman by both Utes and non-Indian people. Cynthia Becker is co-author with David Smith of "Chipeta: Queen of the Utes," and she brings the exhaustive research of that work to this "Now You Know Bio" of an inspirational Native American woman. Finalist for 2009 WILLA Award from Women Writing the West. "Chipeta.never for a moment wavered in her loyalty to what she thought the right and from the first used all her influence for peace.She saw that war meant the murder of hundreds of whites and the extermination of her own people." - Margaret T. Adams, wife of Charles Adams, Los Pinos Indian Agent "Cynthia Becker's middle grade biography Chipeta: Ute Peacemaker is a must read for all affectionados of local Pikes Peak region lore." - Janice Black - Pikes Peak Writer Magazine
Cynthia Becker grew up in southern Indiana. A true child of the 1950s, her goal was to be a cowgirl, just like Dale Evans. She loved to read and began writing stories in elementary school. Cynthia moved to Colorado the day after her college graduation and remains a Coloradan.She began researching the life of Chipeta in 1995. She dug into old Indian Agent reports in the National Archives, searched photographs in the National Anthropological Archives, visited libraries and museums in Colorado and Utah, and read lots of old newspapers. The result was her first book, "Chipeta: Queen of the Utes"(Western Reflections Publishing, 2003). Since then, Cynthia has written five books on current topics for educational publisher Thomson Gale and contributed to an anthology of sports biographies. Her feature articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Saturday Evening Post, Colorado Country Life, Family Chronicle, and Learning Through History. She was selected a ôColorado Voicesö writer by the Denver Post in 2003.