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History of Northern Ute Indian, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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Utes found an inhospitable environment and little prepared for them in the Uintah Basin. Throughout the 1870s these Uintah Utes continued to hunt and gather in the surrounding country while agents cultivated fields in an effort to convince them to settle down. Things became more difficult in 1881 when the federal government forcibly removed the Yamparka and Parianuc (White River) Utes from Colorado to the Uintah Reservation. The following year the government moved the peaceful Taviwac (Uncompahgre) Utes to the adjoining two-million-acre Ouray Reservation.

Removal and consolidation on the Uintah-Ouray Reservation generated a number of problems for and between the Uintah, White River and Uncompahgre bands. Suspicion and jealousy over land and money, diminished opportunities to travel and hunt, and attitudes towards farming divided the bands. These problems were compounded in 1897 and again in 1905 when the government allotted the reservations and opened the remainder for white entry. Each Ute received an 80 to 160 acre plot for farming and access to a communal grazing district. In the end, allotment reduced Ute land holdings by over 85 percent. The construction of expensive irrigation projects did little to improve Ute farming and led to extensive leasing and the alienation of yet more land. Allotment ultimately limited the potential for a successful livestock industry. Short-term resistance to allotment and directed change included the Ute outbreak of 1906-08, during which nearly 400 Utes fled to South Dakota. Longer-term resistance included adoption of the Sun Dance religion and Peyotism--attempts to bind the people together and maintain an Indian identity.


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