4. Protect Indigenous Cultural Heritage
Indigenous Peoples have contributed to the culture and natural landscape of modern-day Utah for thousands of years. Utah is home to approximately 60,000 Native Americans, representing more than 50 Tribal Nations, with eight being federally recognized. These tribes are Northwestern Band of Shoshone Nation, Confederated Tribes of Goshute, Skull Valley Band of Goshute, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah and Navajo Nation. Many more Tribes and Nations can trace their ancestry here as well.
Indigenous and other historical and cultural sites are everywhere in Utah and they are important to modern descendant communities and researchers. Protect these sites by observing and admiring structures, objects, rock imagery and historical inscriptions at a respectful distance.
- Continue the ancient tradition of stewardship. While enjoying the state’s rivers, mountains and canyons, you are likely to come across objects such as structures, arrowheads, clay pots, old tin cans, and other evidence of past peoples. Leave these items as you found them for future visitors to enjoy and protect the cultural or spiritual connections tied to these items and places.
- Observe, but don’t touch any rock imagery and historic inscriptions you may find. Even a small amount of oil from your hands can alter the fragile chemistry of the rock, quicken the erosion of the rock surface and eventually remove the image entirely.
- Help preserve these areas by not carving into rocks and leaving your own mark. The rich legacy of Indigenous rock art and historical inscriptions is not an invitation for any of us to leave our own marks.
- Be aware that historical period sites are important to modern descendant communities and researchers, and please visit these sites with respect. Utah is home to thousands of archaeological sites from the historic period, representing the histories and traditions of numerous ethnic, cultural, religious, occupational and neighborhood communities.