Black Hawk War Project


Phillip B Gottfredson | Author, "Black Hawk's Mission of Peace."

Our goal, the Black Hawk War Project, is to reveal the true story of the Black Hawk War in Utah. Furthermore, to honor the Timpanogos Nation, the most documented Tribe in Utah. Because they have been written out of history, ignoring this historical tragedy is disrespectful toward those whose ancestors died defending their rights which they have never understood why. To say, "that is all in the past, and we should just forget about it" is to say that the lives of our ancestors are unimportant and have no relevance to anyone. This attitude toward indigenous people causes anger, hate, discrimination, and racism. In contrast, explanations empower us with the tools to bring about change toward a more humane and compassionate society.

In time, what began as a mere curiosity in 1989, evolved into a full-time passion for exploring every facet of the Black Hawk War. One of the most challenging questions was why the Shoshoni Timpanogos Nation had been written out of history and misidentified as Ute? After years of exhaustive research, documents emerged that Mormon church leader Brigham Young and the Twelve Apostles' quorum 1850 ordered the "extermination" of the Timpanogos Nation. That was the moment when everything began to fall into place.

Phillip B Gottfredson spent decades living among First Nation people seeking to understand Native American culture and traditions. He then applied that knowledge to research Utah's Black Hawk War. "It did not take long to see that Utah's history of Native Americans is from the Mormon's one-sided perspective. Writers completely ignored any imput from the indigenous community," said Gottfredson. "For example, they never asked the Timpanogos Tribe of Utah if they have a different version of those difficult times."

Moreover, this was when Gottfredson decided to devote all of his resources and time to what he called "The Black Hawk War Project." "It has always been a labor of love," Philip explained. "But, it was never about me. I have never regretted the countless hours spanning over two decades investigating Utah's Black Hawk War from the perspective of the indigenous peoples of Utah."

See: Truth In Education