WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
THE PAIUTE INDIANS
CONTACT INFORMATIONPaiute Indian Tribe of Utah
440 North Paiute Drive
Cedar City, UT 84721
HISTORYIt is believed the Paiutes moved into Utah about A.D. 1100-1200. They were hunter-gatherers with some limited agriculture.
Their first contact with Europeans was probably with the Escalante-Dominguez party in 1776 and then with Jedediah Smith in 1826 and 1827. But then more Europeans came through the area, culminatinating with settlement by Mormons in the 1850s and later. Native numbers dwindled as they were crowded out and succumbed to diseases. Once numbering in the thousands, the Paiute population reached a low of 800.
The Utah Paiutes and the federal government signed a treaty in 1865, but it was not ratified by the Senate. The first reservation for the Paiutes was established at Shivwits, near St. George, in 1891. Other small reservations were established by executive order: Indian Peaks in 1915, Koosharem in 1928, and Kanosh in 1929. The Cedar City Paiutes were treated as a scattered band and lived on land owned by the Mormon Church. A Paiute agency was established in Cedar City in 1927 by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).
In 1935, the Shivwits and Kanosh Paiutes accepted the Wheeler-Howard Act, also known as the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA). It provided for tribal self-governance and protection of Indian land rights.
But Indian policy took a radical step backwards when Utah Senator Arthur V. Watkins, Chairman of the Senate Interior Committee Subcommittee on Indian Affairs, promoted passage of Public Law 762 on September 1, 1954, which resulted in the termination of all federal responsibility over Indian tribes. To set an example, Watkins pushed for termination of Utah Indian groups, including the Shivwits, Kanosh, Koorsharem, and Indian Peaks Paiutes.
Repudiation of this termination policy began in the early 1970s under President Nixon and eventually led to the United States government restorating its recognition of the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah (PITU). On April 3, 1980, President Carter signed the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah Restoration Act (25 U.S.C. § 761) and its implementing public law 96-227.
Paiutes Indian Tribe of Utah Bands:
Indian Peaks Band
Shivwits Band (in Washington County)
Other Bands of Paiutes:
Kaibab Band (on the Arizona Strip)
Las Vegas Band
REFERENCESPaiute Indian Tribe of Utah Website
Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah: History
Utah History To Go: Paiute Indians
Recommended Reading: Southern Paiutes
A reading list compiled by Benn Pikyavit
Book: "Southern Paiute: A Portrait"
By William Logan Hebner with photographs by Michael Plyler
Utah State University Press, 2010
8.5" x 11", 208 pages
ISBN 978-0-87421-754-4, Cloth, $34.95
ISBN 978-0-87421-755-1, E-book, $28.00
Click here for more information.
"Southern Paiute Relations With Their Early Dixie Mormon Neighbors"
27th Annual Juanita Brooks Lecture, March 10, 2010
By Edward Leo Lyman
Click here to download the printed text.
Click here to listen to an audio recording made by Carl Rich of http://www.dixietoday.com.
Wikipedia article on Paiute.