The Native Voice Media

Article that appeared in the
February 15, 2005 edition of Native Elder's


Band of Mixed-Blood Utes File Lawsuit Over "Forced
Assimilation" Act of 1954

By Melanie Grinnell
Staff Writer
The Native Voice

UTAH - Alvin "Big Sonny" Denver, a Uintah elder, had seen and experienced many hardships during his lifetime. Raised on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Utah, he was fluent in the Uintah language and attended government boarding schools in his youth.

He served his country well during World War II and returned to Utah and in 1948 built a ranch for his family on land given to him by the Ute Tribe for his honorable service in the war.

His years of hard work and ranching were literally swept out from under him with the stroke of a pen when the U.S. Congress enacted the Ute Partition Act of 1954. Big Sonny and his family were forced off of their land and his cattle were sold without his knowledge.  » More «


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