Date: September 19, 2022 (Season 5, Episode 3 - 35 minutes long). Click Here for the Utah Dept. of Culture & Community Engagement version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click Here.
Here are two audio samples from the October 26, 2022 state history conference "WATER AT THE CONFLUENCE OF PAST & FUTURE'' (Provo Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, 101 West 100 North, Provo, Utah). To join Utah's annual history fest click here. In this episode director of Utah's Indian Affairs Dustin Jansen and ethnohistorian Dr. Sondra Jones, offers sneak peeks into their conference session “Native Utahns: The Struggle to Get and Use Water." This episode was co-produced by James Toledo (Program Manager, Utah Division of Indian Affairs).
Jansen relates the recent history of Westwater, San Juan County, Utah, a rural Navajo community on the edge of Blanding, Utah, which has struggled for fifty years to get water and electricity. Jansen speaks to the combined efforts to overcome long standing obstacles, led by Utah Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson, along with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Utah State Legislature.
Jones speaks of the very long road (1861 to the present) for the Ute people gaining access, then losing by forced sales (eminent domain) and finally gaining ownership to water flowing through the Uinta & Ouray Reservation. This includes the backstory to the Strawberry Valley Reservoir–Utah's first public works project drawing water from the Colorado River drainage system–and the beginning of the federally funded Central Utah Project.
The Utah Division of State History and Utah Museums Association are combining their conferences this year (back to back -- museum conference October 24-26 and the Utah history conference October 26).
Bio: Dustin Jansen has been since 2019 the director of the Utah Division of Indian Affairs. Originally from Coyote Canyon, New Mexico, he was born and raised on the Navajo Reservation. Attending school at Utah Valley University (UVU, Orem, Utah), BYU (Provo), and at the University of Utah, Dustin then graduated with a Juris Doctorate from the S.J. Quinney College of Law. From 2006 to 2015 he served as a tribal judge at the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation. In 2015 he was appointed program coordinator for the American Indian Studies program at UVU. Photo courtesy of the S.J. Quinney School of Law, University of Utah.
Bio: Dr. Sondra G. Jones has a PhD in history from the University of Utah in American and Native American History. Sondra is an adjunct professor in the History Department at Brigham Young University, and is the author of Being and Becoming Ute: The Story of an American Indian (2019). She is also the author of numerous other books and articles on the history of the Ute Nation.
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