Cover image for Termination's legacy : the discarded Indians of Utah
Termination's legacy : the discarded Indians of Utah
Metcalf, R. Warren, 1956-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xviii, 305 pages : illustrations, map, portraits ; 24 cm
The junior senator from Utah -- Ernest L. Wilkinson and eighteen million dollars -- The three-year program and economic blackmail -- Utah Paiutes as Watkins's examples -- Tribal alliances and tribal divisions -- The bureaucratic solution -- John S. Boyden's magnum opus -- Termination and the persistence of identity.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E99.U8 M47 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Termination's Legacy describes how the federal policy of termination irrevocably affected the lives of a group of mixed-blood Ute Indians who made their home on the Uintah-Ouray Reservation in Utah. Following World War II many Native American communities were strongly encouraged to terminate their status as wards of the federal government and develop greater economic and political power for themselves. During this era, the rights of many Native communities came under siege, and the tribal status of some was terminated. Most of the terminated communities eventually regained tribal status and federal recognition in subsequent decades. But not all did.

The mixed-blood Utes fell outside the formal categories of classification by the federal government, they did not meet the essentialist expectations of some officials of the Mormon Church, and their regaining of tribal status potentially would have threatened those Utes already classified as tribal members on the reservation. Skillfully weaving together interviews and extensive archival research, R. Warren Metcalf traces the steps that led to the termination of the mixed-blood Utes' tribal status and shows how and why this particular group of Native Americans was never formally recognized as "Indian" again. Their repeated failure to regain their tribal status throws into relief the volatile key issue of identity then and today for full- and mixed-blood Native Americans, the federal government, and the powerful Mormon Church in Utah.

Author Notes

R. Warren Metcalf is an assistant professor of history at the University of Oklahoma.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

American Indians fear the ideological capriciousness of US congressmen and public opinion. This monograph demonstrates why. Metcalf (Univ. of Oklahoma) traces the tragic saga of the Mixed Blood Uintah Utes's loss of federal recognition. He effectively enlarges upon Donald Fixico's and Kenneth Philip's earlier explanations of the causes of the US's 1950s policy of "termination." The Mixed Blood Utes lost their status because they did not conform to the race expectations of US society, and because their full-blood relatives agreed that they were not Indian enough. "Race is the fundamental dividing line in American culture, law and society." Senator Arthur Watkins and tribal lawyer John Boyden emerge as deceitful villains who sacrificed the Mixed Blood Utes on the altar of their Mormon theological constructs of Lamanites. Metcalf elucidates the Mormon roots of Watkins's determination to terminate Indian tribal existence, the reality of identity politics in Indian Country, the ruthlessness of Americans, and the local issues that left a group of Indians still struggling to regain federal recognition. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All undergraduate and graduate collections in US history. G. Gagnon University of North Dakota

Table of Contents

The Junior Senator From Utah
Ernest L. Wilkinson and Eighteen Million Dollars
The Three-Year Program and Economic Blackmail
Utah Paiutes as Watkins' "Examples"
Tribal Alliances and Tribal Divisions
The Bureaucratic Solution
John S. Boyden's "Magnum Opus"
Termination and the Persistence of Identity