In October 2020, the University of Utah officially launched its Indigenous Land Acknowledgment. The statement recognizes and honors the fact that the university is located on the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute and Ute tribes; the state of Utah is home to eight distinct tribal nations.
The Native American Land Use Committee worked for about a year to develop the statement, which is intended to be used campus wide. Here is the statement.
The University of Utah has both historical and contemporary relationships with Indigenous peoples. Given that the Salt Lake Valley has always been a gathering place for Indigenous peoples, we acknowledge that this land, which is named for the Ute Tribe, is the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute, and Ute Tribes and is a crossroad for Indigenous peoples. The University of Utah recognizes the enduring relationships between many Indigenous peoples and their traditional homelands. We are grateful for the territory upon which we gather today; we respect Utah’s Indigenous peoples, the original stewards of this land; and we value the sovereign relationships that exist between tribal governments, state governments, and the federal government. Today, approximately 60,000 American Indian and Alaskan Native peoples live in Utah. As a state institution, the University of Utah is committed to serving Native communities throughout Utah in partnership with Native Nations and our Urban Indian communities through research, education, and community outreach activities.
We acknowledge that this land, which is named for the Ute Tribe, is the traditional and ancestral homeland of the Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute, and Ute Tribes. The University of Utah recognizes and respects the enduring relationship that exists between many Indigenous peoples and their traditional homelands. We respect the sovereign relationship between tribes, states, and the federal government, and we affirm the University of Utah’s commitment to a partnership with Native Nations and Urban Indian communities through research, education, and community outreach activities.
Native American Land Use Committee Members:
Mary Ann Villarreal, vice president for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and co-chair
Elizabeth Kronk Warner, dean of the S.J. Quinney College of Law and co-chair (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians)
Adam Dell, assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics
Alberta Comer, dean of libraries
Alice Whitacre, associate general counsel, Office of General Counsel
Ashley Cordes, assistant professor of indigenous communication (Coquille)
Becky Menlove, former director of the visitor experience, Natural History Museum of Utah
Charles Sepulveda, assistant professor, Ethnic Studies (Tongva and Acjachemen)
Chris Nelson, communications director, University Marketing & Communications
Dena Ned, associate professor, College of Social Work (Chickasaw Nation)
Greg Smoak, director, American West Center and associate professor of history
Morgan Aguilar, communications specialist, University Marketing & Communications
Sarah Projansky, associate Vice President for faculty, Academic Affairs
Shayma Salih, student, Hinckley Institute of Politics