Ute Indian oral history project collection, 1982-1985  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Oral History Institute
Ute Indian oral history project collection
1982-1985 (inclusive)
2.5 linear feet
Collection Number
ACCN 0853
The Ute Indian oral history project collection (1982-1985) consists of transcripts of tapes of interviews with 18 members of the Ute Indian Tribe. Topics include values, change, and the value of change both within and without the Ute community. Specific questions concern biographical information, religious and family traditions, living conditions, education, work, and feelings about their lives. Interviews were conducted by Sandra Fuller, Oral History Institute Director, and by her assistant, Leslie G. Kelen.
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections.
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT
Telephone: 801-581-8863
Access Restrictions

Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Ute Indian oral history project collection consists of transcripts of tapes of interviews with 18 members of the Ute Indian Tribe. Topics include values, change, and the value of change both within and without the Ute community. Specific questions concern biographical information, religious and family traditions, living conditions, education, work, and feelings about their lives. Interviews were conducted by Sandra Fuller, Oral History Institute Director, and by her assistant, Leslie G. Kelen.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The library does not claim to control copyright for all materials in the collection. An individual depicted in a reproduction has privacy rights as outlined in Title 45 CFR, part 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). For further information, please review the J. Willard Marriott Library’s Use Agreement and Reproduction Request forms.

Preferred Citation

Collection Name, Collection Number, Box Number, Folder Number. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 1 Tommy Appah
Mr. Appah (b. 1931) discusses his family tribal affiliations, naming customs, the effect of white contact on Indian traditions, his military experience in Korea, Douglas MacArthur, and the Ute language. He also talks about being on the tribal council, his father's leadership abilities, the Central Utah Project, and the issue of tribal affiliation of mixed-blood Indians. 66 pages
1 2 Ruby Black
Mrs. Black (b. 1935) talks about her parents, relatives, the values she was taught, childhood memories, traditional Indian culture, and the Native American Church. She also discusses her experiences on the tribal council, the Central Utah Project, Senator Moss, water rights, and issues related to official membership on the tribal rolls. 64 pages
1 3 Lester Chapoose
Mr. Chapoose (b. 1937) tells about his parents and grandparents, the decline of the extended family in tribal culture, picking crops as a young boy, life on the reservation, and attending school at White Rocks. He also discusses alcohol, his experiences in the Navy, the college of Southern Utah, being unemployed in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, and how he became involved in tribal affairs. Other subjects covered are the Central Utah Project, the tribal council, the enrollment controversy, tribal jurisdiction, unemployment, and his views on the future of the tribe. Chapoose also talks about his son, his wife, and various tribal members. 87 pages
1 4 Maxie E. Chapoose
Mr. Chapoose (b. 1920) discusses growing up near Fort Duchesne, the Wheeler-Howard Act of 1934, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the experience of being a mixed-blood, the American Indian Movement, tribal enrollment, and joining the LDS Church. 41 pages
1 5 Forrest S. Cuch
Mr. Cuch (b. 1951) recollects his childhood and schooling near Fort Duchesne, education, medicine men Jensen Jack and Eddy Box, religion (including the LDS and Catholic Churches, the Sun Dance, and the sweat lodge), Wasatch Academy, the death of his mother, and Gestalt therapy. 55 pages
1 6 Jason Cuch
Jason Cuch (b. 1924) talks about growing up on a farm near Fort Duchesne, Indian healers, education, the experience of being in the army, Indian religion, Roddy McDowell, the Partition Act, tribal enrollment, serving on the tribal business committee, land allotments, and water rights. He also talks about the Bureau of Indian affairs, conflicting ideas of younger and older committee members, and giving advice. 76 pages
1 7 Clifford Duncan
Mr. Duncan (b. 1933) of the White River Band, explains the political and cultural climate in which band membership is determined. He recalls his childhood on the White Rocks River and going to boarding school. He also talks about traditional ways of looking at the world, oil reserves on the reservation, tribal politics, and racial stereotypes. Duncan discusses religion (including Sun Dance chiefs, the Ghost Dance, and peyote ceremonies), and the relationship between Indian peoples and the United States government. 108 pages
1 8 Clifford Duncan
Mr. Duncan continues his discussion of tribal politics and the membership status of mixed-blood persons. He returns to the subject of religion, touching on the Mormon, Episcopalian, and Native American Churches. 25 pages
1 9 Darrell Gardner
Mr. Gardner (b. 1931 or 1932) discusses his mixed parentage, his experiences in the armed forces, going "back to the blanket," and being relocated to Denver. He talks about the difficulty of retaining a sense of self in white society, and describes his work for television station KUTV in Salt Lake City. He speculates on the reasons for the high rate of alcoholism among Native Americans, talks about the sweat lodge, and explains why he walked out of the Sun Dance. Gardner also talks about the problems of being a "breed," and the enrollment controversy. 48 pages
2 1 Ethel Grant
Mrs. Grant recalls growing up in her uncle's family and being sent to school in Riverside, California, where she learned English. She supported her children by doing housework in Denver. 42 pages
2 2 Lorena Denver Iorg
Mrs. Iorg (b. 1912) recalls her childhood near Fort Duchesne, Utah. Among her recollections are a story about a visit to her grandfather by Butch Cassidy, the termination controversies, and issues surrounding being a mixed-blood. 63 pages
2 3 Jensen Jack
Mr. Jack (b. 1927) of the White River Band, recalls his childhood and attending day school at White Rocks. He also talks about traveling to various tribes in the United States, the Sun Dance, attending medicine council, and the sweat lodge. Jack discusses being seriously injured in an automobile accident and his recovery. 51 pages
2 4 Carleen Kurip
Mrs. Kurip (b. 1948) recalls growing up in the Ouray area of the reservation among traditional cattle and sheep-owning families. She talks of working as a counselor for the Uintah school district and volunteering to help get out the Ute Bulletin. She discusses the enrollment controversy and her views on retaining traditional values in white society. 27 pages
2 5 Larry McCook
Mr. McCook (b. 1945) recalls his early childhood with his grandmother, his first contact with the public education system in the fourth grade, his subsequent struggles in white society, his return to traditional life, participation in the Sun and Bear Dances, his experience as a foster child in a Mormon family, traveling among various tribes, being in the army and in prison, and the Native American Brotherhood. He also discusses transactional analysis, how he has adjusted to prison, and his goals after his release. 28 pages
2 6 Francis McKinley
Mr. McKinley (b.1920) discusses his family, band and tribal history from the late 19th century. His grandfather, Charlie Shavanaux, was the leader of a band located around present-day Montrose, Colorado. He talks about kinship, leadership, inter-band conflict, and the removal of the Utes to the reservation. McKinley also reminisces about his childhood, schooling, and his involvement with tribal government. He talks about native religion, healing ceremonies, and the Sun and Bear Dances. He goes into great detail on the enrollment of mixed-bloods into the tribe, and the subsequent efforts to terminate their membership. 86 pages
2 7 Julius R. Murray
Mr. Murray (b. 1909) recalls attending government schools at White Rocks and in Lawrence, Kansas. He speaks about the termination of the mixed-bloods from the Uintah band and about retaining his Indian identity in the face of termination. Murray also discusses spirituality, Christianity, sweat lodge ceremony, talking with spirits, his connections with the Mormon Church, and learning to follow a path in life. He recalls stories told by his parents and grandparents about Indian-White conflict and discusses his personal difficulties with the white world. He also talks about traditional Indian political structure, and his experiences with the council. 205 pages
2 8 Julius R. "Chunky" Murray, Jr.
Mr. "Chunky" Murray (b. 1940) recalls going to the White Rocks boarding school, being raised by his grandfather, and belonging to a Los Angeles gang during his teen years. He passes along family tales of Butch Cassidy and Frank and Jesse James, and talks about being a deputy sheriff. 43 pages
2 9 Mary May Murray
Mrs. Murray (b. 1914) talks about the sweat lodge and recalls meeting her husband at a Bear Dance. She reminisces about her childhood, family and tribal traditions, and the termination controversy. 48 pages
2 10 Travis Parashonts
Mr. Parashonts (b. 1953) recalls taking care of his mother, who was a Piute from the Cedar City area, while he was in junior high. When she got too sick for him to care for he was put in a foster home in Milford, where he went to high school. He went on a mission for the LDS Church. When he returned he was elected chairman of his band and became involved in tribal politics. He recalls working with Senator Orrin Hatch to get Piute bands restored on the tribal roles, and with several Utah politicians regarding tribal lands. 62 pages
3 1 Pawwinnee Family
This interview contains remarks by three women of the Pawwinnee family--Elise, Nancy, and Ruth. In addition to childhood memories and recollections of life on the reservation and in boarding school, the women discuss religion, language, the Sun and Bear Dances, raising sheep and cattle, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, mixed-bloods, intermarriage, and the termination controversy. 78 pages
3 2 Nancy Pawwinnee
Mrs. Pawwinnee (b. 1910) recalls her childhood in Ouray, Colorado. She discusses Ute naming customs, beadwork, basket weaving, and traditional customs. 17 pages
3 3 Stewart Pike
Mr. Pike (b. 1943) was the tribal council representative for the Uncompahgre Band at the time of this interview in 1986. He recalls growing up in the community of Myton, his experiences in the army, and having to work to remain fluent in the Ute language. He discusses raising horses, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, tribal affairs, and the misuse of tribal resources. 45 pages
3 4 Joe Pinnecoose
Mr. Pinnecoose discusses oil leases, mineral rights, and policies governing drilling on the reservation. 37 pages
3 5 Shirley Murdock Reed
Mrs. Reed (b. 1935) outlines her genealogy, family stories of Brigham Young, and her early life in Fort Duchesne. She reminisces about her grandfather, Henry Harris, who was often involved in negotiations between various government agencis and the tribe. She recalls going to the meetings when the question of termination was being discussed. Also included are her memories of meeting her husband at a Sun Dance, stories of their courtship and marriage, and her ideas on childrearing. The interview ends with her detailing of a family tragedy, a discussion of religion and the LDS Church, and her feelings about becoming an elder. 170 pages
3 6 Hazel Wardle
Mrs. Wardle (b. 1906) recounts her childhood memories of Salt Lake City and recalls her life as a white person among Indians. She talks about her marriage, cattle ranching, and finding an old Indian burial site on ranch property. She also shares her memories of the Bear Dance and Sun Dance. 76 pages
4 Master Files, Appah to McKinley
Access Restricted.
5 Master Files, Murray to Wardle
Access Restricted.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Ute Indians--Education
  • Ute Indians--Employment
  • Ute Indians--Interviews
  • Ute Indians--Religion
  • Ute Indians--Social life and customs
  • Ute mythology
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Oral Histories