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History Of Utah's American Indians

Forrest S. Cuch

Publication Year: 2003

This book is a joint project of the Utah Division of Indian Affairs and the Utah State Historical Society. It is distributed to the book trade by Utah State University Press.

The valleys, mountains, and deserts of Utah have been home to native peoples for thousands of years. Like peoples around the word, Utah's native inhabitants organized themselves in family units, groups, bands, clans, and tribes. Today, six Indian tribes in Utah are recognized as official entities. They include the Northwestern Shoshone, the Goshutes, the Paiutes, the Utes, the White Mesa or Southern Utes, and the Navajos (Dineh). Each tribe has its own government. Tribe members are citizens of Utah and the United States; however, lines of distinction both within the tribes and with the greater society at large have not always been clear. Migration, interaction, war, trade, intermarriage, common threats, and challenges have made relationships and affiliations more fluid than might be expected. In this volume, the editor and authors endeavor to write the history of Utah's first residents from an Indian perspective. An introductory chapter provides an overview of Utah's American Indians and a concluding chapter summarizes the issues and concerns of contemporary Indians and their leaders. Chapters on each of the six tribes look at origin stories, religion, politics, education, folkways, family life, social activities, economic issues, and important events. They provide an introduction to the rich heritage of Utah's native peoples. This book includes chapters by David Begay, Dennis Defa, Clifford Duncan, Ronald Holt, Nancy Maryboy, Robert McPherson, Mae Parry, Gary Tom, and Mary Jane Yazzie.

Forrest Cuch was born and raised on the Uintah and Ouray Ute Indian Reservation in northeastern Utah. He graduated from Westminster College in 1973 with a bachelor of arts degree in behavioral sciences. He served as education director for the Ute Indian Tribe from 1973 to 1988. From 1988 to 1994 he was employed by the Wampanoag Tribe in Gay Head, Massachusetts, first as a planner and then as tribal administrator. Since October 1997 he has been director of the Utah Division of Indian Affairs.

Published by: Utah State University Press


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pp. ix

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pp. xi-xx

My understanding of ancient American Indian philosophy is that there is purpose for all things and that there are no accidents in this world. To many, it was no accident that the ancestors of the Hopi, the pre-Pueblo an (Anasazi) people, once inhabited the area today known as the state of Utah. ...

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Setting the Stage: Native America Revisited

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pp. 3-24

The writing of Native American history can be said to have started when Christopher Columbus first waded ashore on San Salvador Island in the Caribbean. It has continued ever since. What preceded his arrival—the prehistoric phase of Native Americans—has generally been left to archaeologists and anthropologists ...

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The Northwestern Shoshone

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pp. 25-72

In early historic times the Shoshone Indians were a large nation of Indians who lived and traveled over an extensive territory that included parts of Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Wyoming. Usually groups of extended families traveled together in varying numbers according to the season and the purpose of their gathering. ...

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The Goshute Indians of Utah

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pp. 73-122

The Goshute Indians live in a little known and sparsely populated portion of the state of Utah. There actually are two Goshute reservations, the largest of which is the Deep Creek Reservation located on the Utah-Nevada border about sixty miles south of Wendover, with a portion of the reservation in each state. ...

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The Paiute Tribe of Utah

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pp. 123-166

For a thousand years the Paiute people have lived in an area that is presently known as southern Utah, southeastern California, northern Arizona, and southern Nevada. Their homeland is adjacent to the Great Basin and included the resource-rich Colorado Plateau and a portion of the Mojave Desert. ...

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The Northern Utes of Utah

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pp. 167-224

The story of Sinauf, the god who was half man, half wolf, and his brothers Coyote and Wolf has been told many times in tipis and wickiups. According to Ute legend, these powerful animal-people kept the world in balance before humans were created. After Sinauf made people, humans took responsibility to care ...

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The White Mesa Utes

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pp. 225-264

Billy Mike, the oldest living resident of the White Mesa Ute community, sat comfortably and slowly ran his fingers through his silver hair. The thick glasses perched upon his nose served more as a token of past vision than as an aid to see today's world. Blind in one eye, and with failing sight in the other, he moved ...

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The Navajos of Utah

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pp. 265-314

Navajos have been living in the Four Corners region of the American Southwest for hundreds of years. The land of the Navajo includes areas of southeastern Utah, northeastern Arizona, and northwestern New Mexico. Navajo people traditionally and historically refer to themselves as the Din

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Conclusion: The Contemporary Status of Utah Indians

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pp. 315-340

The preceding tribal histories have brought the reader through the period of termination to more contemporary times. But what direction has Indian affairs taken over the past decade or so, and what does the future promise? Significant adjustments have been made in the past to accommodate the shifting economic, social, ...

Notes to Chapters

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pp. 341-368

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 369-380

Notes on Contibutors

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pp. 381-384


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pp. 385-394

E-ISBN-13: 9780874213836
Print-ISBN-13: 9780913738498

Publication Year: 2003