I got strong response on my column this week, suggesting that the University of Utah should drop its nickname. Although the name has been been approved by the Ute Tribe, some activists prefer all Native American nicknames be abolished.
Hasn’t this gone far enough? I am a Ute and those who fight for us are not. Why do people think they can speak for us when they don’t know what they are talking about. I just wrote this up, could you give it to those who might look at it and consider a different thinking? Thankyou
Call me NucWemia Mia, I am a Southern Ute. I am also the grandson of a Lemhi Shoshoni who are the same people of Sacagawea who led the Louis & Clark exhibition. I was known by another name when I was in student government many years ago. But my heritage is real so the name sticks for now.
I am writing today to give my two cents worth on all this Native American stuff from one who is of authority and not people or students who are not. I am also a former student at Utah and my brother and my youngest son both played football as “Utes”. My son was recruited by coaches Wittingham and Mac and played as a tight end under Coach Meyer. I was a member of the Utah track team years ago.
This thing about offending us I think has gone haywire. There is no offense if students paint their bodies red. That is our school color! There is no insult to our people! We are not red men either! That connection has always been a white man thing! We have never called ourselves that! And heaven forbid if I come with a feather headdress to a game and I am escorted off the field for it! That would be totally wrong as I have the right to dress in my traditional clothing. Where does this end? Now Students South of us cannot paint themselves blue? Stupid. And wearing headdresses? Wouldn’t it be cool if we all came in Native attire to a game!! Wow would that ever do honor to our people and recognize the connection to the school!!!
We are all proud to live where the name means “Mountain Place” that is what Utah means. What name other than a “Ute” can anyone from our University call themselves?! And the logo? That is no tribal logo but a representation of a people. Legally the entire issue has no part in law at all. The feather and shield is the logo for the University of Utah. Trademarks are a matter of law and not dictated by any people including mine. Are Scandinavian people offended if someone puts horns on a helmet depicting Vikings?
And the mascot thing. We are not birds. We are not red rocks. In time are Piutes, Goshutes, Southern Utes, and Northern Utes going to need to abandon our own name because someone thinks it offends us? I am offended by all this silliness. Are we going to be required some day to change who we are and become Red Birds? Birds are not Utes. I hate that thing. If there is worry of offending a native then get rid of that bird. That is not a Ute. We are not Red Rocks either. We are all Utes and proud to be so whether students at Utah, fans of our teams, residents of Utah, or Native people. A Ute is what we are. Even the blue folks from Provo are ‘Utes’ too whether they like that or not. It Is where we all live. I am a Ute. The real thing in every way. Get rid of that silly bird and rock. Be proud of what is the truth. What we are.
And last but not at all least. I grew up “across the green” just a mile South of the campus. Leave our fight song alone!!! I am a Utah Man sir, not a ‘Utah person’. My wife and my daughters are the fairest you have ever seen. They are not “fair non genders” I am proud to have transgender and gay people in our family but that does not force me to become one too. End all that ridiculous issue as well. I was a student leader in many positions back in the 60s’ We had idiots trying to change things for stupid reasons back then as well. This one must end along with all the other stupid things that are trying to mess with good traditions and sanity.
Creepy do gooders go away!! Leave all us ‘Utes’ alone. The rest of us are offended by your meddling. You do not have permission to represent the rest of us in your silly ideas.