NOTE: 12/22/2022, all posts for the year 2022 hve been moved to our News Archive. You are welcome to browse our archive by clicking on the News Archive link above.
Open Letter From Phillip B Gottfredson
Let me update you on what's been happening since moving back to Utah after 25 years. It has really been a challenge in many ways. The population has grown tremendously here. Towns have become bustling cities. Prices have skyrocketed. All the once fertile and productive farmlands are paved with concrete and asphalt. New subdivisions are crammed with quickly built homes and apartment complexes that all look the same, only a few feet apart. Every major retail chain is here and repeated the same from city to city. Developers have a cookie-cutter mentality and no imagination whatsoever. It's monotonous and boring. Above it all is the majestic snow-capped Wasatch mountains, the only familiar remnants of what was once a paradise for Indigenous people who called it their home.
My house is on the foothills with a panoramic view of Utah Valley and Utah Lake. Deer pass through the neighborhood, often looking for food and shelter. No longer able to make their way to the nearby lake because of fenced properties and traffic-clogged roads and freeways, they look worn and weary from doging the dangers and noise of a ruthless sprawling city. Frightened by the very sight of a human being, they dive into small patches of untouched land for safety and sanctuary, where it's only a matter of time before that will disappear too.
For me, it's a bag of mixed emotions. And like the deer, I, too, struggle to find a safe haven in what was once my home.
I awakened at 7am for a doctor's appointment at 9:20am this morning. I had waited over a month to see him. I drove 30 miles to the doctor's office and through rush-hour traffic. I arrived 13 minutes late and was told I would have to reschedule my appointment for being late. I thought of all the times I had to wait in the doctor's office 20, 30, an hour past my appointed time. "No," I said, "forget it! I wont be back."
I first posted this article back in March 2019. It may seem insignificant to some people, but it is disrespectful to the living descendants of Timpanogos War Chief Black Hawk.
It's Time to Clean Up Utah's History
Fact: This is NOT Utah's Black Hawk! This portrait is an Albumen print taken in 1875 by William S. Soule, the post photographer at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The photo is of a Kiowa Apache man called Black Hawk. The Smithsonian Collection has provided it.
This photo has been published online and in numerous books and publications as Utah's Black Hawk for decades. There are no known photos of Antonga Black Hawk. Utah's Black Hawk died in 1870.
Utah's Timpanogos Chief Antonga Black Hawk was Timpanogos Snake Shoshoni, not Apache or Ute. He was buried at Spring Lake, Utah, in 1870, and he was not from Oklahoma! See Black Hawk's burial for more information.
The Vatican repudiates 'Doctrine of Discovery,' which was used to justify colonialism
Quoting from NPR news article 03/30/2023 by Bill Chapple
Nearly 500 years after papal decrees were used to rationalize Europe's colonial conquests, the Vatican repudiated those decrees on Thursday, saying the "Doctrine of Discovery" that was used to justify snuffing out Indigenous people's culture and livelihoods is not part of the Catholic faith.
The doctrine was invoked as a legal and religious standing by Europeans who "discovered" new lands and violently seized it from people who had been living there for generations. It has been cited in different arenas for centuries, including by the U.S. Supreme Court — as early as 1823 and as recently as 2005.
"It renounces the mindset of cultural or racial superiority which allowed for that objectification or subjection of people, and strongly condemns any attitudes or actions that threaten or damage the dignity of the human person." See NPR news article 03/30/2023 by Bill Chapple
For Decades First Nations have insisted the Catholic Church condemn the Doctrine of Discovery and admit to the destruction it brought to indigenous people worldwide. This historical moment is essential to reconciliation and justice for Native Nations.
Spirit of the East, Bring Us Our New Dawning
Transitioning from Arizona to Utah over the past seven months has been a worthwhile and sometimes tricky challenge. Over two decades ago, my brother and I left our home in Utah and moved to Oregon to live with a Shoshone family to begin our quest to learn First Nation peoples' history and sacred lifeways. We sold everything and left with a trailer of personal belongings, two dogs, two cars, and a few thousand dollars. More importantly, we promised each other that we would accept whomever and whatever stood before us without judgment or expectations. It was a leap of faith, believing it was something we had to do and for reasons that would become clear as years passed. My brother David crossed over into the spirit world in 2015. He told me to continue our work and said, "it's not about us, you and me, but all of us."
It is good to be back home again. I live in Pleasant Grove, Utah, only a short distance from Battle Creek, where the Black Hawk War began in 1849 between the Timpanogos Tribe and Mormon Militia which I see as serendipitous that I should find a place to call home here in Pleasant Grove I believe was meant to be, but unplanned. And I am grateful for my friends who have given me tremendous, often unexpected, and overwhelming generosity in the transition.
The Timpanogos Tribe collaborated with me in writing the book Black Hawk's Mission of Peace, released in 2019 by Archway Publishing from Simon Schuster. Before this time, virtually no one knew anything about the Timpanogos in Utah. It has played an essential role in giving the Timpanogos a voice. Over the past year, the Tribe, notably Mary Meyer, Chief Executive of the Timpanogos, has been very busy giving talks to groups and major organizations throughout Utah, bringing much-needed attention to the Tribe and its history. And that is why I moved back here to further assist the Tribe in any way they see fit to further educate the citizens of Utah about the Black Hawk War and the Timpanogos Nation.
But we can’t do all that needs to be done alone. We need your continued help as well. And the best way for our allies to help is to continue efforts to understand the devastating consequences that Settler Colonialism brought to the Timpanogos Nation. Knowledge is power, and the more knowledge you have the greater your influence in bringing much-needed healing to those who are suffering from generational trauma because of the atrocities of the Black Hawk War. Being well-informed when engaging in conversations and discussions about the Black Hawk War and the Timpanogos brings change.
Everything you need to stay informed is at your fingertips. Two informative websites, BlackHawkProductions.com, TimpanogosTribe.com, the book Black Hawk's Mission of Peace, and direct access to Mary Meyer and the Timpanogos Tribe, and myself, Phillip B Gottfredson.
The following is our updated contact information:
Mary Meyer and the Timpanogos Nation
Mail: P.O. Box 327 Ft. Duchesne, Utah 84026
Phillip B Gottfredson Historian & Author:
Mail: Phillip B Gottfredson
336 East University PKWY #1127 Orem, Utah 84058
Thank you, everyone, for your continued interest and support.
Phillip B Gottfredson
Did You Know?
When the Civil War ended in 1865, attention turned toward western expansion and the U.S. military to Indian fighting. The United States government called for the extermination of tribes who resisted giving up their land. Highly publicized massacres of Indians brought the attention of philanthropic groups. American humanitarians proposed a new solution to the "Indian problem" by eliminating Indianness through acculturation. Christian reformers argued that if Indians were assimilated, the Indian problem would vanish. In the 1860s, the U.S. adopted a Peace Policy, gradually shifting toward a more peaceful approach, and genocide of Native Americans was officially discouraged. The Peace Policy meant forcing Native tribes to reservations and boarding house schools to assimilate them into white culture, thus eliminating Native peoples bloodlessly. The intended effect of the Peace Policy was to prevent the rampant slaughter of Native Americans.
Christianization, education, and cultural development became the means to assimilate tribal peoples so that they could be integrated and absorbed by mainstream society. Example, the LDS church converted many of Utah's Native Americans to Mormonism, according to church doctrine, and in so doing, the so-called "loathsome" Indians would become a "white and delightsome people." They would be forgiven of the sins of their forefathers. (Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 5:21-23) According to church doctrine, the nature of the dark skin was a curse, and the cause was the Lord; the reason that the Lamanites (Indians) "had hardened their hearts against him, (God)," and the punishment was to make them "loathsome" unto God's people who had white skins.
Gratitude from Phillip B Gottfredson
A few days ago, I received an e-mail from Marcus, a young man who explained he had just finished reading my book Black Hawk's Mission of Peace. "It was life-changing," he wrote. He liked it so much that he went out and bought four more books to give his friends as Christmas gifts. If that weren't enough, he made a sizable donation to BlackHawkProductions.com to thank us for all our hard work.
I wanted to share this with all of our supporters because I appreciate people like Marcus for his thoughtfulness and incredible generosity. To all who have helped us through the years, a heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone. We love you!
COLONIALISM VS. SETTLER COLONIALISM
"Settler Colonialism" is a fairly new term we have recently added to the narrative of the Black Hawk War. What is the difference between Settler Colonialism and colonialism? The Oxford dictionary defines colonialism as "the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically."
Settler colonialism is more specific. "Settler colonialism is an ongoing system of power that perpetuates the genocide and repression of indigenous peoples and cultures." According to Global Social Theory, "Settler colonialism is a distinct type of colonialism that functions through the replacement of indigenous populations with an invasive settler society that, over time, develops a distinctive identity and sovereignty." It is the elimination of Native Americans, and the seizure of land and resources in perpetuity.
Over the past month, Phillip B Gottfredson has updated much of the website injecting the term Settler Colonialism to the narrative so people better understand that it is the primary cause of Utah's Black Hawk War. For example, in the opening paragraph of the website he wrote, "Settler colonialism is the primary cause of Utah's Black Hawk War. The war spanned 24 years from when Mormons' arrived in the upper Great Basin in 1847 to the extermination and forced removal of the Timpanogos Nation of the Wasatch to the Uintah Valley Reservation in 1871."
Another example, "Religion had a significant role in the Black Hawk War in Utah, cultural conflict, political motivation, and legal justification for settler colonization of North America. "Papal authority is the basis for United States power over indigenous peoples," wrote Peter d'Errico, Legal Studies Department, University of Massachusetts/Amherst."