Native American experience in Utah is a significant issue that affects everyone that lives in the state. As a University that has partnered with the Northern Ute Nation to use the “Utes” nickname for sports teams, it is particularly important for the University Community to foster a rich understanding of the historical and contemporary experience of Native Americans not only in the state of Utah but also in the United States. The agreement between the University of Utah and the Northern Ute Nation that permits the use of the “Utes” nickname calls for the campus to engage in activities that promote awareness of the Native American experience in Utah. In order to foster awareness and facilitate dialogue about Native American experience in Utah, the Communication Institute will sponsor events that highlight the importance of communication research and theory to understanding Native American experience and more specifically the historical and contemporary controversy over the Utes nickname. The Institute will co-sponsor a public lecture by Dr. Philip Deloria (University of Michigan), recipient of the University’s McMurrin Professorship, in Fall 2017 and host a symposium on Native American Rhetoric in Summer 2018.
The Communication Institute also hosts the Utes Nickname Archive, a research and teaching archive.