Southern Ute Indian Reservation
The Southern Ute Indian Reservation is a Native American reservation in southwestern Colorado near the northern New Mexico state line. Its territory consists of land from three counties; the reservation has a land area of 1,058.785 sq mi. Its largest communities are Arboles; the only other community, recognized as a separate place by the Census Bureau is the CDP of Southern Ute, which lies just southeast of Ignacio. The Southern Ute tribes include the Muache and the Weeminuche, the latter of which are at Ute Mountain; these tribes were considered the Southern Utes. The Capote band lived east of the Great Divide south of the Conejos River and east of the Rio Grande towards the west site of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, they were living in the San Luis Valley, along the headwaters of the Rio Grande and along the Animas River, centered in the vicinity of today Chama and Tierra Amarilla of Rio Arriba County. Like the Mahgrahch the Kahpota maintained trade relations to Puebloan peoples and came into conflict with southern plains people because of their alliance with the Ollero band of the Jicarilla Apache.
The Muache band lived along the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains from Denver, Colorado in the north to Las Vegas, New Mexico in the south, traded with northern Puebloan peoples with Taos Pueblo, therefore called Taos-Ute, ranged after adoption of the horse with their allies, the Llanero band of the Jicarilla Apache, southeastward as far as the Texas Panhandle. Ouray of the Uncompahgre band was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln as head of all Ute tribes, not agreed upon by the Southern Ute bands; the first reservation created by the treaty of 1868 encompassed about 1/3 of present-day Colorado the mountainous regions west of the continental divide. When precious metals and minerals were discovered in the central mountains settlers sought access to the land. In 1873 The Brunot Agreement was created; this agreement limited the reservation to the narrow strip of land, called The Southern Ute Reservation today. The United States made treaties with various bands of Ute in 1855, 1865, 1866, which the Senate failed to ratify.
Given the whole of eastern Colorado for a reservation, the discovery of gold there in the 1860s brought a quick reduction in territory. The treaty with the Ute in 1865 provided for the cession of land in exchange for the entire valley of the Uintah River in Utah, plus $25,000 per year for ten years $20,000 for 20 years, thereafter $15,000 per year, based on an estimated population of 5,000 Ute; the treaty banned liquor and provided for the establishment and maintenance of a manual labor school for ten years. The Southern Ute Indian Reservation was opened in southwestern Colorado; the eastern part of the reservation is forest with elevations of more than 9000 feet. The western portion is arid mesa; the actual land lies in the southwestern corner of the state of Colorado and consists of a strip 15 miles north to south and 110 miles east to west. In 1895 The Hunter Act distributed the land in the reservation in plots to the heads of households in the Mouache and Capote tribes; the Weeminuche tribe had approved an 1888 congressional bill relocating them to San Juan County, however this bill did not pass so the Weeminuche were brought back to Colorado.
They refused to go back to the old grounds of the agency so they established camps on the western end of the Southern Ute Reservation. With the three tribes given their land the final provisions of the Hunter Act were implemented opening over 500,000 acres of the Reservation to non-native settlers. Established in 1873, it is the reservation of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, a federally recognized Ute tribe; the southern Utes are made up of the Mouache and the Capote. Government is organized under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 and is led by a tribal council with a chairman as head of the executive. For decades at the end of the 20th century, Leonard C. Burch had been the tribes chairman. In 2008 a new chairman, Matthew Box was elected. There have been numerous council members, with some being elected to council many times, but they all serve one purpose, and, to serve the tribal membership for their best interest. Leonard C. Burch was the most popular chairman to serve for the tribal population.
When Matthew Box was elected he won in a runoff election against Clement J. Frost; the Southern Ute Indian Tribe is the largest employer in the Four Corners, being a stupendous and competitive organization. With being on the top-ten list of wealthiest tribes in America, the Southern Utes put their priority to their spiritual traditions as well as their compatibility towards the non-Indian people, they supply numerous non-Indians with employment. By creating a "checkerboard reservation", the Southern Utes created a relationship with the non-Indians that they knew was imminent. Census population in Southern Ute Reservation in 1980 and 20 years 2000. Southern Ute Reservation 1980 2000 Archuleta County 2,257 4,796 La Plata County 259 695 Montezuma County 1,998 4,101 Matthew Box resigned as Tribal Chairman in 2011. Under a special election Pearl Casias was elected as the first Chairwoman in the history of the Tribe and served for a time in 2011. Jimmy Newton served as Tribal Chairman from 2012 until his death in 2014.
Clement Frost served as Tribal Chairman following Newton's death in 2014. Frost retired in 2017, in December 2017 Christine Baker-Sage was elected to serve as Tribal Chairwoman. Joseph Rael, dancer
Native American Church
The Native American Church known as Peyotism and Peyote Religion, is a Native American religion that teaches a combination of traditional Native American beliefs and Christianity, with sacramental use of the entheogen peyote. The religion originated in the U. S. State of Oklahoma in the late nineteenth century after peyote was introduced to the southern Great Plains from Mexico. Today it is the most widespread indigenous religion among Native Americans in the United States and Mexico, with an estimated 250,000 adherents as of the late twentieth century. Many denominations of mainstream Christianity made attempts to convert Native Americans to Christianity in their country; these efforts were successful for many Native American tribes reflect Christian creed, including the Native American Church. Although conversion to Christianity was a slow process, the tenets of the Native American Church were accepted. Formed in the state of Oklahoma, the Native American Church is monotheistic, believing in a supreme being, called the Great Spirit.
The tenets of the Native American Church regard "peyote" as a sacred and holy sacrament and use it as a means to communicate with the Great Spirit. Followers of the Native American Church have differing ceremonies and ways of practicing their religion. For example, among the Teton, the Cross Fire group uses the Bible for sermons, which are rejected by the Half Moon followers, though they each teach a similar Christian morality. Ceremonies last all night, beginning Saturday evening and ending early Sunday morning. Scripture reading, prayer and drumming are included. In general, the Native American Church believes in the Great Spirit. Ceremonies are held in a tipi and require a priest, pastor, or elder to conduct the service; the conductor is referred to as the Roadman. The Roadman is assisted by a Fireman, whose task is to care for the holy fireplace, being sure that it burns all night; the Roadman may use a prayer staff, a beaded and feathered gourd, a small drum and his eagle feather as a means for conducting services.
The Roadman's wife or other female relative prepares four sacramental foods and the "second breakfast" that are part of the church services. Her part takes place early, between 4:30 and 5:00 in the morning; the four sacramental foods are water, shredded beef or "sweet meat", corn mush, some version of berry. To counterbalance the bitterness of the peyote consumed during the services, the sweet foods were added later; the second breakfast is like any other breakfast. It includes boiled eggs, hash brown potatoes and juice; this meal is served just prior to the closing of the church services. Church services are not regular Sunday occurrences but are held in accordance with special requests by a family for celebrating a birthday, or for a memorial or funeral service. Services begin at sundown on either a Friday or Saturday end at sunrise. Thus, a participant "sits up" all night, giving up a full night's rest as part of a small sacrifice to the Great and Holy Spirit and his Son; the church services culminate in a feast for the whole community the following day.
Because peyote is a stimulant, all of the participating members are wide awake, so they, attend the feast. The need for sleep is felt in the late afternoon after the feast. Gifts are given to the Roadman and all his helpers by the sponsoring family at the feast to show deep appreciation for all his hard work.”Common reasons for holding a service include: the desire to cure illness, birthday celebrations, Christian holidays, school graduations, other significant life events. As the United States government became more involved in the control of drugs, the Native American Church faced possible legal issues regarding their use of the substance; the Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 called the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, was passed to provide legal protection for the Church's use of peyote. The controversy over peyote resulted in its legal classification as a controlled drug. Thus, only card-carrying members of the Native American Church are allowed to transport and use peyote for religious purposes.
The Neo-American Church tried to claim LSD and marijuana as sacraments, seeking protection similar to that afforded to peyote use by the Native American Church. The courts ruled against them. Quanah Parker is the individual most associated with the early history of Peyotism and the Native American Church. Other prominent figures in its development include Chevato, Jim Aton, John Wilson, Jonathan Koshiway; these people, many others, played important roles in the introduction and adoption of the Native American Church. Eagle-bone whistle Employment Division v. Smith Freedom of religion in the United States#Situation of Native Americans Freedom of thought Hair drop, Native American Church regalia Indigenous peoples of the Americas The red road Hayward, Robert; the Thirteenth Step: Ancient Solutions to the Contemporary Problems of Alcoholism and Addiction using the Timeless Wisdom of The Native American Church Ceremony. Native Son Publishers Inc. 2011. ISBN 0983638403. -- Describes the Native American Church Ceremony.
Stewart, Omer C. Peyote Religion: A History. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987. Listing of Native American Churches American Ethnography – The use of Peyote by the Carrizo and Lipan Apache tribes "Native American Church, Encyclopedia of the Great Plains Swan, Daniel C.. "Native American Church". Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Oklahoma Historical Society. Cowger, Thomas W.. "Pan-I
The Timpanogos were a tribe of Native Americans who inhabited a large part of central Utah—particularly, the area from Utah Lake eastward to the Uinta Mountains and south into present-day Sanpete County. In some accounts they were called the Timpiavat, Timpanogotzi, Timpannah and other names. During the mid-19th century, when Mormon pioneers entered the territory, the Timpanogos were one of the principal tribes in Utah based on population, area occupied and influence. Scholars have had difficulty identifying their language; the Timpanogos have been classified as Ute people. They may have been a Shoshone band. Nineteenth-century historian Hubert Howe Bancroft wrote in 1882 that the Timpanogos were one of four sub-bands of the Shoshone. Chief Walkara known as Chief Walker, was a noted mid-19th-century chief who led his people against Mormon settlers in the Walker War; the Shoshone and Ute shared a common genetic and linguistic heritage as part of the Numic branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family.
Most Timpanogos live on the Uintah Valley Reservation, established by executive order in 1861 and affirmed by congressional legislation in 1864, where they are counted with the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation. In 2002, the Timpanogos won a federal case against the state in the Court of Appeals upholding their traditional rights to hunt and gather on the reservation; the court concluded that their relationship with the federal government was well-established, although they are not listed by the Department of the Interior as a federally-recognized tribe. They have submitted an application and documentation to the Department of the Interior seeking federal recognition as an independent tribe; the Timpanogos entered Utah as part of the southern Numic expansion around 1000 CE or in the subsequent central Numic Shoshonean expansion north and west from their Numic homelands in the Sierra Nevada. They were hunter-gatherers, living on fish and wild game caught by the men and cooked and processed by the women and on the seeds and roots of wild plants gathered and prepared by the women.
As part of their religion, in the mornings they gathered together and greeted the morning with song to express gratitude to the Creator. They were divided into each with its headman, spiritual leader and warrior; the clans would band together for specific purposes, such as hunting. There was no division of the land, people were free to travel to different villages, they developed an extensive trading network. The Timpanogos lived in the Wasatch Range around Mount Timpanogos, along the southern and eastern shores of Utah Lake of the Utah Valley and in Heber Valley, Uinta Basin and Sanpete Valley; the band around Utah Lake became dominant due to the area's food supply. During the spring spawning season at Utah Lake, the tribes hosted an annual fish festival. Timpanogos and Shoshone bands would come from 200 miles away to gather fish. At the festival there was dancing, trading, horse races and feasting, it was an opportunity for young people to find a mate from another clan, since exogamous marriage was required.
The shores of Utah Lake became a sacred meeting place for the Timpanogos and Shoshone tribes. The first known Europeans to enter this area were a Spanish expedition of Franciscan missionaries led by Father Silvestre Vélez de Escalante; the Dominguez–Escalante Expedition of 1776 was trying to find a land route from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Monterey, California. Two or three Timpanogos from the Utah Valley were guides for the party. On September 23, 1776, they entered the Utah Valley. Escalante documented the expedition in his journal, describing the people who lived around Utah Lake: Round about it are these Indians, who live on the abundant fish of the lake, for which reason the Yutas Sabuaganas call them Come Pescados. Besides this, they gather in the plain grass seeds from which they make atole, which they supplement by hunting hares and fowl of which there is great abundance here; the explorers named many geographic features in central Utah for the Timpanog tribe, who were led by Turunianchi.
The next recorded European visitor was Étienne Provost, a French-Canadian trapper who visited the Timpanog in October 1824. In 1826, American mountain man Jedediah Smith visited a camp along the Spanish Fork River with 35 lodges and about 175 people. By the time Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, the Timpanogos were guided by Turunianchi's grandson, Walkara. Walkara led the tribe with a number of sub-chiefs, most of whom were his brothers: Chief Arapeen, Chief San-Pitch, Chief Kanosh, Chief Sowiette, Chief Tabby-To-Kwanah, Chief Grospean and Chief Amman. Brigham Young once called them a "royal line" of Indian chiefs, they had hereditary leadership through their clan. Parley P. Pratt explored the Utah Utah Lake; the first battle between settlers and Indians, known by the Americans as the Battle Creek massacre, occurred in early March 1849 at present-day Pleasant Grove, Utah. A company of 40 Mormon men went to the Utah Valley to persuade the Timpanogos to stop stealing cattle from the Salt Lake Valley.
Brigham Young ordered the Mormons "to take such measures as would put a final end to their depredations in future". The company went to the village of Little Chief
Chipeta or White Singing Bird was a Native American woman, the second wife of Chief Ouray of the Uncompahgre Ute tribe. Born a Kiowa Apache, she was raised by the Utes in, Colorado. An advisor and confidant of her husband, Chipeta continued as a leader of her people after his death in 1880, she was diplomat. She used diplomacy to try to achieve peace with the white settlers in Colorado and in 1985, Chipeta was inducted into Colorado Women's Hall of Fame. Chipeta, "White Singing Bird" in the Ute language, was born into the Kiowa Apache tribe in about 1843 or 1844, she was raised by the Uncompahgre Utes of present-day Colorado. She became a skilled artisan in beadwork and tanning. In 1859, she married Chief Ouray of the Uncompahgres, she came to act as his advisor and confidant sitting beside him at tribal council meetings. In 1863, Chipeta and her husband helped create the first treaty of Colorado. Chipeta's brother, was jealous of Ouray's power and tried to murder him to which he failed. Ouray took out his knife in order to kill the traitor but Chipeta grabbed it out of the sheath before Ouray could grab it, thus saving her brother's life.
Described as "beautiful", she sang in three languages. Chipeta was renowned for her exquisite beadwork. One time upon learning of a raid to be done on her white neighbors by the Utes she traveled on her pony and swam the Gunnison River to warn the settlers of the raid, saving their lives, she rescued her children from hostile Utes after a four-day ride. The family recounts: "his wife did everything to make us comfortable. We were given the whole house and found carpets on the floor, lamps on the tables and a stove with fire brightly burning. Mrs. Ouray shed tears over us." Both Chipeta and her husband were known for helping white settlers travel through the wilderness such as showing them the direction of a ford to cross a river. Although Chipeta never bore children, she adopted four and raised them as her own, although one account does say that she did bear one son, stolen by a band of Kiowas. Chipeta sought to live peacefully with the white settlers in Colorado. Tensions were rising. In addition, the government, through the White River Indian Agency, was pressing the Utes to take up farming, give up racing their horses, convert to Christianity.
The Ute resentment boiled up in an uprising in September 1879, marked by the Meeker Massacre at the Agency, where the Utes killed 11 white men and took three women and two children captive. In a related battle at Milk Creek, the Utes pinned down forces from Fort Steele for several days before reinforcements arrived; the Uncompahgre did not take part in the uprising. General Charles Adams, a former US Indian agent, negotiated release of the captives. One of the captives was adult daughter of the late Indian agent Nathan Meeker; the captives were brought to Ouray's home after their release. Adams held an inquiry into the events in Colorado. On January 7, 1880, Chipeta and Chief Ouray led a delegation of Utes to Washington, DC to negotiate a treaty regarding reservation resettlement, they had been asked to testify before a congressional inquiry into the Ute uprising. As Chipeta and the other Utes attempted to board a train at Alamosa, they were lynched by an angry mob of white people, who believed them associated with the Meeker Massacre.
On March 7, 1880, Chipeta was welcomed as a delegate by Secretary of Interior Carl Schurz at the US Capitol. She testified before a Congressional inquiry into the Meeker Massacre. At the hearing, she took the witness stand and answered, through an interpreter, the 10 questions put to her; the Utes ratified a treaty with the US government. Both the White River and Uncompahgre Utes were forced out. Following passage of the Ute Removal Act of 1880, Chipeta and other Utes were removed to the Uintah Indian Reservation in Utah. Chief Ouray died in Colorado earlier that year. After his death, the reservation was renamed to honor him. Chipeta continued as a leader of the Utes and was respected as a wise woman. Chipeta was a respected woman on the reservation; the government promised her a house to be built and fixed up on the reservoir however this was never conceived. The government instead put her in a two-roomed house on the White River without any furniture; this house was in a location where there could be no irrigation so Chipeta relied on rations given to her by government officials.
Oftentimes officials had to turn away people from the rations claiming. Chipeta was known to be kind and thankful for whatever the government officials did for her and was never known to be demanding, she was very respected by member of the tribe and was always allowed to meetings of the council in which no other Ute woman was accepted. When entertaining guests, Chipeta would prepare and cook meals herself with her own utensils without any help from other women. Chipeta became blind in her late age. Chipeta died August 1924 at the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Utah. On March 15, 1925, she was reburied at the site of her former home near Colorado. On May 25, 1925, remains believed to be that of Ouray were reburied in the cemetery on the Southern Ute reservation. List of Native American artists Visual arts by indigenous peoples of the Americas Becker, Cynthia S. and P. David Smith, Chipeta: Queen of the Utes, Lake City, Colorado: Western Reflections Publi
The Bluff War known as Posey War of 1915, or the Polk and Posse War, was one of the last armed conflicts between the United States and native Americans. It began in March 1914 and was the result of an incident between a Utah shepherd and Tse-ne-gat, the son of the Paiute Chief Narraguinnep, it was notable for involving Chief Posey and his band of renegades who helped Polk fight a small guerrilla war against local Mormon settlers and Navajo policemen. The conflict centered on the town of Bluff and ended in March 1915 when Polk and Posey surrendered to the United States Army. Chief Posey played a prominent role in the war, as it was his band who took up arms. Between 1881 and 1923, Posey led his braves in several skirmishes against the Navajo and the American settlers, killing several, including several at the "Pinhook Massacre" on the northwest slopes of the La Sal Mountains, his band, which included about 100 people, both Ute and Paiute, was feared and well-known. Unlike most native American tribes, Polk's and Posey's followers did not reside on a reservation, but rather they lived near Bluff, around Allen and Montezuma Canyons.
Posey's struggle to keep Westward expansion away failed in 1905, when the town of Blanding known as Grayson, was founded in the center of the Ute's last prominent hunting grounds. For the next ten years, sporadic fighting occurred, until March 1914 when Tse-ne-gat, the son of Chief Polk robbed and murdered an ethnic Mexican shepherd named Juan Chacon on the Ute Mountain Reservation in Colorado. Chacon had camped with a group of Utes and Paiutes from Polk's band, among them Tse-ne-gat known as Everett Hatch. A few days Chacon was found dead and witnesses claimed that Tse-ne-gat was responsible. Chief Polk defended his son's actions, so when Navajo policemen attempted to arrest Tse-ne-gat, Polk drove them off with rifle fire. For the next six months, newspapers around the United States circulated reports of the incident. By that time, Polk had taken his band, about eighty-five people, to the Navajo Mountain area. Chief Posey and his warriors joined them. Local newspapers reported that "Hatch has a notorious reputation as a bad man" and that his group was "terrorizing" the settlers in the Bluff area, they said that Tsa-na-gat was "strongly entrenched with fifty braves who will stand by him to the last man."
Ten months after the murder of Chacon, Tsa-na-gat still had not surrendered so Marshal Aquila Nebeker organized a posse of twenty-six "cowboys" and three sheriffs from Montezuma County, Colorado to make arrests. The posse headed towards Navajo Mountain. Just after dawn, on the morning of February 25, 1915, Marshal Nebeker and the posse came across Chief Polk and fifty of his men encamped in Cottonwood Gulch; the weather was cold and snow covered the ground. One of the natives in camp spotted the approaching possemen, so he alarmed the others with "woops of warning" before opening fire with a rifle. Other accounts say that the posse achieved a surprise attack and began firing into the camp without warning. Either way, the posse implemented a type of "Indian strategy of the kind that one is accustomed to read in the histories of early life in the West." Chief Posey and his band were camped not far from the area, along the San Juan River, when they heard the sound of the gunfire, Posey led his warriors to Polk's rescue.
Posey's men, numbering about forty, maneuvered to the rear of the posse's position and he gave the order to engage. Shortly thereafter, Marshal Nebeker realized that he needed help, so he sent a message back to Bluff requesting reinforcements. Over the next several hours, about fifty volunteers from Bluff, Blanding and Monticello arrived in the battle area; the fight into the next day, when a truce was called. During the fighting, five of the possemen got separated from the rest and had to hold off the attacking natives from the top of a rocky hill. At least one American was killed, posseman Joseph C. Akin of Colorado, several others were wounded, though some accounts say two possemen died. One native, known only as "Jack's Brother" was killed and two others received wounds. A second native woman was killed when she "ran into the line of battle." Two of the natives, named Howen and Jack, were captured by the posse and described by The Day as being "choice warriors." When the truce was called, Nebeker retreated to Bluff while Chief Polk and Posey led their bands further into the desert.
It was believed that after defeating the posse, the two renegade bands would besiege Bluff, but this did not happen. According to newspapers, there were enough men in Bluff to defend the town, but not enough to pursue the natives if and when they chose to escape. Sometime a force of about fifty Navajo policemen, from the Navajo Reservation, caught up with the hostiles, but were repulsed in the following skirmish. After that, the handling of the situation was turned over to Brigadier General Hugh L. Scott. Upon receiving orders, General Scott traveled all the way from his post in Virginia City to Bluff, in order to negotiate an end to the war. Scott was genuinely uninterested in fighting the hostile Utes and Paiutes, so on March 10, 1915 he left Bluff, with just a few of his men, to meet Polk and Posey at a place called Mexican Hat, near Navajo Mountain. General Scott described the journey. We stayed a day in Bluff and went on to Mexican Hat; some friendly Navajos went ahead of me to tell Poke's band of my coming.
Among them was Bzoshe, the old Navajo chief with whom the government had so much tr
San Pitch Utes
The San Pitch Utes were members of a band of Ute people that lived in the Sanpete Valley and Sevier River Valley and along the San Pitch River. They may have been Shoshonean, were considered as part of the Timpanogos. Mormons settled in the Sanpete Valley in the winter of 1849–1850, they brought measles. Mormons established the town of Manti and the Utes continued to camp and fish near there; those who had horses hunted traveled for hunting grounds. The band was having difficulty finding sufficient food and Chief Sanpitch and Walkara asked the Mormons to teach them how to farm. There were few band members. More than 100 Utes were baptized in Manti Creek by the Mormons, but many Utes made half-hearted conversions and the band continued their traditional ceremonies; the Utes asked settlers for food, upsetting to some of the Mormons. Brigham Young assigned Indian Agents for the Uintah tribe districts. San Pitch Utes were classified as members of the Uintah tribe by the U. S. government when they were relocated to the Ouray Indian Reservation.
Chief Aropeen Chief Sanpitch, for whom Sanpete County, Utah is named
Chief Walkara was a Shoshone leader of the Utah Indians known as the Timpanogo and Sanpete Band. It is not clear what cultural group the Utah or Timpanogo Indians belonged to, but they are listed as Shoshone, he had a reputation as a diplomat and warrior, a military leader of raiding parties, in the Wakara War. He was the most prominent Native American chief in the Utah area when the Mormon Pioneers arrived in 1847. One observer described Walkara in 1843 as: "the principal ruling chief... owing his position to great wealth. He is a good trader, trafficking with the whites and reselling goods to such of his nation as are less skillful in striking a bargain."In 1865, some ten years after his death, the Timpanogo agreed to go live on the Uintah Reservation under Chief Tabby-To-Kwanah and merged with the Northern Shoshone. Walkara is referred to as Ute, but this is incorrect. Ute is a blanket name for many tribes; the Shoshone have cultural and linguistic heritage as part of the Numic branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family.
Walkara is Shoshone and his name, means Hawk, in Shoshone. Walkara was born 1808 along the Spanish Fork River in Utah, he was one of the five sons of a chief of the Timpanogos Tribe. He spent much time fishing along the Utah Lake shores in what is now Vineyard. Walkara could communicate in Spanish and native languages, his brothers included Chief Arapeen, for whom the Arapeen Valley near Utah was named. He gathered a raiding band of warriors from Great Basin tribes, Ute and Shoshone, rode with his brothers on raids, his band raided ranches and attacked travelers in the Great Basin and along the Old Spanish Trail between New Mexico and California. Small native bands and tribes in the area paid him tribute in return for assistance. Walkara was distinguished by the yellow face paint that he wore; some people called him,'The Greatest Horse thief in History.' In California Walkara was known as a great horse thief, due to his stealing around 3,000 horses in Southern California in the 1840s. In some of these raids, the band fought Cahuilla leader Juan Antonio.
Mountain men James Beckwourth and Thomas "Pegleg" Smith were involved in this campaign and were known to trade with Walkara, providing the band with whiskey in return for horses. In 1845 Benjamin Davis Wilson, Justice of the Peace and assistant for Indian affairs in Riverside County, was commissioned to track down Walkara and his marauders and bring them to justice, but never succeeded, their mission was interrupted by the discovery of the Big Bear Lake area. No additional account of the pursuit was reported. Horsethief Canyon and Little Horsethief Canyon in the Cajon Pass are named for Walkara's exploits. Several men were killed in both canyons; when Mormon pioneers arrived in what is today known as Utah, they were caught between the Shoshone and the Ute: both tribes claimed the Salt Lake Valley. The settlers refused to pay the Shoshone for the land, knowing that they would have to pay the Ute as well. Brigham Young, the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, recommended that the Mormon settlers avoid trading with Native American tribes.
At this time, the Ute bands of Indians were divided, but Walkara's band was one of the most influential. Walkara recognized. However, the Ute were angered by the Mormons building a permanent settlement in the area, Walkara favored driving them out by force, his brother, wanted to accommodate the Mormons. After initial disagreement, Walkara conceded to Sowiette. Instead of war, the Mormons had peace with the Timpanogo; the first act of violence between the Ute and the Mormon settlers occurred on March 5, 1849. Some Ute had disregarded their leaders' instruction not to steal from the Mormons, had killed and stolen livestock from the settlers. In retaliation, the settlers set out to find those responsible, they ambushed some Ute. In April, Walkara supported Ute attacks on Fort Utah. In late 1849, Walkara met with Young, asking him to send men to help settle Ute land, with that request, settlers including Welcome Chapman went to the Sanpete Valley. Young dispatched a company of about 225 settlers, under the direction of Isaac Morley.
The settlers arrived at the present location of Manti, Utah in November, established a base camp for the winter, digging temporary shelters into the south side of the hill on which the LDS Manti Utah Temple now stands. It was an isolated place, at least four days by wagon from the nearest Mormon settlement. Relations between the Mormon settlers and the local Ute Indians were cooperative. Morley and his settlers felt. Morley wrote, "Did we come here to enrich ourselves in the things of this world? No. We were sent to enrich the Natives and comfort the hearts of the long oppressed."During the severe winter, a measles epidemic broke out. The Mormons used their limited medicine to nurse the Indians, when Mormon supplies ran low, the Ute shared their food supply. In 1850, Walkara agreed to be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints with his son. Walkara traded women and children as slaves in order to trade for horses and ammunition. Mormon settlers tried to stop this practice, but their efforts only angered the tribe for inte