Indian Education

Utah State Board of Education

Paiute Tribe


Tribe Chief

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In the late 19th century, the Paiute Bands in southern Utah coalesced into five Bands: the Shivwits Band, Indian Peaks Band, Kanosh Band, Koosharem Band and Cedar Band. Reservations were established between 1903 and 1929 for all but the Cedar Band whom the federal government overlooked. In 1954 the Bands were terminated from federal recognition, with the exception of the Cedar Band who received no federal assistance and consequently suffered de facto termination. The Tribe became ineligible for any federal assistance for 26 years. The results of termination which the tribe experienced between 1954 and 1980 had devastating social and economic consequences. Nearly one-half of all tribal members died during this period for lack of health resources and lack of adequate income to meet their needs. About 15,000 acres of former reservation lands were lost, primarily due to the inability to pay property taxes. Pride and culture diminished dramatically.


In 1975 the Paiute Tribe began their efforts to gain federal recognition once again. On April 3, 1980 by an Act of Congress, (via “The Paiute Restoration Act, P.L. 96-227") the federal trust relationship was restored to the five Bands which constitutes the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah. All five Bands became federally recognized. Four years later Congress pass “The Paiute Reservation Plan” in order to recover lands lost due to termination. A new reservation land base was added in 1984 with the return of 4,800 acres of BLM land (out of 15,000 ac. Lost). The original lands lost were not included. The lands are small parcels and undeveloped. The selection of these lands was based on their economic potential and as a result most of them are located along I-15 and I- 70. As a compromise the Paiute Tribe agreed to a $2.5 million irrevocable trust fund to be set up to assist the Tribe in Economic Development and Tribal Government. The Paiute Tribe is only allowed to use the interest off this Trust. It took the Paiute Tribe nine years to accomplish this task and it took the federal government less than a year to accomplish theirs. In 1983 the majority of tribal members had access to adequate housing and health care, although chronic health problems, low educational attainment, underemployment and alcoholism persist.


Tribe Chief

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The Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah is located in the corner of southwest Utah. Its service area for Tribal programs of Health, Social Services, Housing, Education, Alcohol and Drug, Activities, Environment, and Economic Development covers a five county area. The Central headquarters is located in Iron County at Cedar City, Utah. As of November 2013 there are 892 members of the Paiute Tribe, divided among the five Bands as follows:

Cedar Band 220 2,060 10 miles
Indian Peaks Band 33 426 11 miles
Kanosh Band 104 1,195 210 miles
Koosharem Band 92 1,240 230 miles
Shivwits Band 260 27,525 128 miles
Total 709 32,446 589 miles

(Note: Distance is round trip miles from Cedar City, Utah)

Social Characteristics

The Paiute Tribe is a young Tribe. At the time of restoration, in 1980, the average age of the new Tribal Council was 25 years of age. According to the latest Health Department data, 16% of our entire membership is over the age of 55 and 84% are under the age of 55. Of the total population of 709, 47% constitutes the youth 16 years of age and younger.

Tribal Government

The Paiute Tribe is organized under the provisions of the “1980 Restoration Act, P.L. 96-227", the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 and the Tribal Constitution. The Tribe is made up of five Bands. The Tribal Council consists of six members. One from each Band area and a Tribal Chairperson. Council members are elected by popular vote of their respective Band and the Chairperson is elected by the entire membership of the Tribe 18 years and older. The Tribal Council is elected to four year terms and they meet regularly once a month. The Tribal Council is the official governing body of the Tribe. It has established a Paiute Economic Development Committee (PEDCO) to work with economic development issues of the Tribe.

Contact Tribal Educaton Director

Other Resources

Utah American Indian Digital Archive

Utah Division of Indian Affairs