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History of Southern Ute Indian, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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What this meant to the Weeminuche and Paiutes living in southeastern Utah is that they would have to give up their lands and move to an arid, desolate reservation struggling to support those Weeminuche already there. In the 1870s, this was hardly worth considering: hunting and gathering was still practical, and pressures had not become overbearing. However, starting in 1878 an influx of white settlers scouted out farms and livestock ranges along the San Juan River and in McElmo Canyon, a natural thoroughfare leading from Colorado to Utah. The Indians became increasingly uneasy about this invasion from the east, especially when Mormons joined the growing cluster of settlements in 1880 by establishing Bluff. Add to this, four major livestock companies in southeastern Utah and the probing tentacles of Navajo expansion from the south, and friction over resources became inevitable and continuous.

The 1880s and early 1890s were characterized by intense, sporadic confrontations between the Indians and cowboys, settlers, and military units. Conflicts at Monument Valley, Pinhook Draw, White Canyon, Blue Mountain, McElmo Canyon, and Navajo Mountain resulted in deaths and a growing animosity on both sides. Different Ute/Paiute factions under the leadership of men like Red Jacket, Narraguinip, Mariano, Bridger Jack, Polk, Johnny Benow, and Posey reacted to the disintegration of their lifestyle. Many of these fragmentary groups either gave up and moved to the reservation in Colorado or coalesced into what would be recognized by the late 1800s as the Montezuma and Allen Canyon Ute groups. Although these two factions were interdependent, the particulars of their experience varied somewhat.


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