🠈 Paiute Indians 🠊
Demographers use the term "Paiute" for the Native Americans who lived in the Great Basin from Utah and Northern Arizona to Owens Valley in California and into Southern Oregon.
The diphthong "ai" is pronounced as the English word "eye." In Pioneer Days, Utahans tried to encourage people to adopt the English phonetic spelling of the term "Piute" and intentionally left off the "a" in the spelling of Piute County.
The bands across this region did not have a central political organization and had a variety of languages and cultural traditions.
The bands of Paiute in Utah were systematically displaced by Mormon settlers who claimed land and water rights throughout the Paiute hunting grounds. Many bands were broken up and a few killed outright in incidents such as the Circleville Massacre. Brigham Young encouraged settlers to take and raise the children; So, many Paiutes were assimilated into the LDS culture.
From the 1940s through the 1960s, the US government pursued an aggressive assimilation strategy for Native Americans. Congress hoped to eventually terminate the system of tribal governments. This policy had a major impact on smaller bands such as the Paiutes.
However, in 1980, the Federal Government reversed its assimilation policy and recognized the Paiute Tribe of Utah. Today the Utah Paiutes have 10 separate parcels of land in 4 Utah Counties (Iron County, Sevier County, Millard County and Washington County). Ironically, non of the tribal lands are within Piute County.
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