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Ute Ingenuity as Personified by Historic Ute Leaders

Time Frame

2 class periods of 30 minutes each


Utah LessonPlans


The student will be able to identify major Ute leaders and explain their unique contributions to their tribes and the history of Utah.


Teacher Materials

Student Materials

Background for Teachers

Your students may already be familiar with some Ute leaders from "The Ingenuity of the Utah Indian Leaders" lesson and We Shall Remain: The Ute (available to Utah Educators in eMedia). This lesson examines the lives of four important Ute leaders--Wakara, Black Hawk, Ouray, and Tabby-To-Kwanah. Each of these men guided their people through difficult periods in Ute history, and their examples of leadership lend insight into the struggle of the Ute people as non-Indians took over their land. The students will use the information they learn about each leader to fill in a timeline of Ute history. Doing so will help them understand the important roles Ute Indians have played in the history of Utah.

Instructional Procedures

Ask students to recall Indian leaders and leadership qualities from the earlier lessons and films. See if the students can recall which tribes the different leaders came from. Focus them on the Ute leaders from their previous knowledge.

Present the students with the Timeline of Utah History. Talk through the events of the timeline, using the Annotated Timeline of Ute History to help add depth to the discussion. Leave out the obvious holes to create a state of disequilibrium among the students.

Ask the students what is missing (if they haven't already asked you). They will have realized that there are holes in the story you have told. Those holes represent the times when the Ute leaders from this lesson made an important impact on Utah history.

Have students fill in the holes in the timeline using their textbooks, film notes (if students have seen the film), trading cards, and the Ute Leaders Packet provided. Once students have a complete timeline filled in, have them transfer the information to an 11x17 sheet of paper and illustrate their timeline.

You may want to have them insert new events or dates from the textbook or other resources for a greater challenge.


  • Students may wish to incorporate the events or leaders from other tribes into their timelines.
  • Students can make new trading cards of these Ute leaders from their packets.

Assessment Plan

  • Discussion participation
  • Completed timelines

End of Unit Assessment


Blackhawk, Ned. Violence over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2006.

Conetah, Fred A. A History of the Northern Ute People. Ed. Katheryn L. MacKay and Floyd A O'Neil. Fort Duchesne and Salt Lake City, Utah: Uintah-Ouray Ute Tribe and University of Utah Printing Service, 1982.

Gottfredson, Peter. History of Indian Depredations in Utah. Salt Lake City: Skelton, 1919.

Krudwig, Vickie Leigh. Searching for Chipeta. Golden, Colo.: Fulcrum, 2004.

Lyman, June, and Norma Denver. Ute People: An Historical Study. 3d ed. Ed. Floyd A. O'Neil and John Sylvester. Salt Lake City: University of Utah, 1970.

Mortimer, William James, ed. How Beautiful upon the Mountains, A Centennial History of Wasatch County. Wasatch County: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, 1963.


The University of Utah's American West Center (AWC) produced the curriculum materials in consultation with the Utah Division of Indian Affairs, Utah State Office of Education, KUED 7, and the Goshute, Northwestern Band of the Shoshone, Southern Paiute, and Ute nations.

Created: 01/16/2011
Updated: 02/02/2018