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The Southern Paiutes of Utah: From Termination...

Time Frame

3 class periods of 45 minutes each


Utah LessonPlans


The student will be able to evaluate the effects of the federal government's termination and restoration policies on the Paiute Tribe of Utah and connect this history to the importance of Native American sovereignty.


Teacher Materials

Student Materials

Background for Teachers

In 1954, the Southern Paiutes, like many other tribes, had their federal trust relationship severed. Public Law 62 "terminated" the federal government's responsibility to the Southern Paiutes and left them with no official political status within the United States and Utah. The consequences of termination were dire, as the Paiutes lost aboriginal rights to land ownership and territorial practices important to the maintenance of tribal sovereignty.

For twenty-six years the Southern Paiutes fought to regain their official status as an American Indian tribal government, and finally, in 1980 the federal government restored the Paiute Tribe of Utah as a recognized sovereign entity. Under restoration, the Paiute tribe has begun the process of economic, cultural, and social resurgence. The story of Paiute termination illustrates the importance of Indian sovereignty and the responsibility of the federal government to Indian peoples.

Instructional Procedures

Assign the excerpt from "The Paiute Tribe of Utah" and the excerpt from Carl Jake and Roy Tom's oral history. Have students complete the worksheet. The worksheet will be their reference material for the next activity. (This can be a class work or a homework assignment.)

Screen the entire film We Shall Remain: The Paiute or show the clips listed above, and lead a class discussion. Some possible discussion questions include: How do Paiute tribal members feel about the history of termination of their tribe? Did the Paiutes' relationships with their lands change when they were "terminated"? Did the Paiutes' relationships with their lands change again when the tribe was "restored"? How so? Students may want to take notes on the film and discussion to use on their essays.

Using only their worksheets and discussion/film notes, students will complete a five-paragraph essay (in-class or homework) answering one of the three essay questions.


  • Show students We Shall Remain: Wounded Knee (chapter 5, available to Utah Educators in eMedia), and have them compare the Paiutes' struggle for recognition from the federal government with the Oglala's struggle for recognition.
  • Students can research Indian perspectives of termination using the oral histories available at
  • Students can explore the people involved in the restoration of the Paiute Tribe of Utah and discover their other accomplishments in the service of American Indians, Utah, and the United States.

Assessment Plan

  • Worksheet
  • Discussion participation
  • Essay

End of Unit Assessment


Holt, Ronald. Beneath These Red Cliffs: An Ethnohistory of the Utah Paiutes. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1992.

Rogers, Glenn. Interview. Sept. 27, 2008. We Shall Remain, KUED Public Television.

Tom, Gary, and Ronald Holt. "The Paiute Tribe of Utah." In A History of Utah's American Indians. Ed. Forrest Cuch. Salt Lake City: Utah Division of Indian Affairs and Utah State Division of History, 2000.


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: 01/17/2011
Updated: 02/04/2018