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The University of Utah uses the name “Utes” for its sports teams, as it has done with full support of the Ute Indian Tribe since 1972. The University, as the flagship of higher education in Utah, takes pride in carrying the name with understanding and respect toward our state’s namesake people. This website was created to encourage the entire U community—students, faculty, staff, fans, alumni, supporters—to learn more about the Ute culture, heritage and the history of our region. Ute history is Utah history so that we can all be “Ute Proud.”

History of the Ute Tribe
Little is written about the Utes before the 1600s, when European explorers encountered them in lands now known as Utah, Colorado and northern New Mexico. How long they had been there is not known. Ute oral tradition indicates they were always there.
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A Memorandum of Understanding outlines the official relationship between the Ute Indian Tribe and the University, but the ties go much deeper than the document, which was renewed in 2020. The futures of the Ute people and the University connect through education.
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Just as our athletes do their very best on the field, so do the fans in our stands. As Ute fans, we bear special responsibility to the Ute Indian Tribe, the school’s and state’s namesake, and we use the Ute name with honor and respect.
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