Giving Service with AmeriCorps Seniors

By Renée Leta  Every week, Patty Cook provides eight hours of joy, companionship and support to other seniors in her community as part of Tooele’s AmeriCorps Seniors program. Established in 15 of Utah’s 29 counties, AmeriCorps Seniors are key volunteers providing services to those in need at both ends of the age spectrum.  Through the Classroom Grandparent Program, AmeriCorps Seniors …

UServeUtah youth council member with boxes of donations for high school teen centers.

Utah’s Youth: The Multiplier  Effect of Youth Volunteers

By Renée Leta 685 hours in a year  – that’s the amount of volunteer service hours in one year that UServeUtah’s youth leaders invested in addressing local community needs. Those youth encouraged their friends and family to participate in their volunteer projects, which led a more-than-double multiplier effect of more than 1,444 total volunteer hours invested in community service projects. UServeUtah, …

Utah’s Public Art Program Helps Commission a New Golden Spike Monument

By Renée Leta On October 23, a 43-foot tall golden spike artwork arrived on the steps of the Utah State Capitol. The impressive “Golden Spike Monument,” by artist Douwe Blumberg, was the result of more than three years of work.  The monument began as an artistic idea from the nonprofit Golden Spike Foundation’s close work with numerous divisions within the Utah Department of …

A Tribute — and a Look Forward for Native Cultures in Utah

By Renée Leta This month, Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox declared November 2023 as Native American Heritage Month and November 3, 2023 as Indigenous Day. The declaration pays tribute to the Tribes’ rich ancestry and traditions, and calls for the advancement of Native American culture and opportunities. The state’s celebration draws on a 30-year-old national tradition. In 1990, U.S. President …

Constance Lieber on Martha Hughes Cannon (1857-1932) the First Female State Senator (Utah) in the USA

Date: April 17, 2023 (Season 5, Episode 12: 1 hour and 7 minutes long). Click here for the BuzzSprout version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click here. The episode was co-produced by Brad Westwood, Chelsey Zamir, and Dr. Katherine Kitterman, with sound engineering and post-production editing from Jason T. …

Preserving Utah history, One Headstone at a Time

By Renée Leta and Ellen Weist For the past decade, Amy Barry has overseen the state’s Cemeteries Program, now part of the Utah State Historic Preservation Office. She maintains the Cemeteries and Burials database, offers preservation workshops, and maintains an alphabetical list and map of all the cemeteries and burial sites throughout the state. She also oversees the state’s annual …

Amplifying the Voices of Utah’s Mariachis

Gritos — emotion-filled yells – punctuated the lively music echoing off the marble walls of the Utah Capitol Rotunda.  More than 400 people attended Sones de Mariachi en Utah on Aug 30, the state’s first-ever competition and exhibition showcasing the popular Mexican folk music. Attendees filled seats and gathered on the Capitol stairs and balconies, the turnout representing the vibrancy …

Dine author Brian Young visits Utah school.

Diné Author Invites Students to Share Their Own Stories

By Reneé Leta In 2018, some 87 percent of Utah students graduated from high school. However, among Native American and Hispanic learners, only one in five met that mark. Research shows that students who are more literate will lead more successful lives and develop the skills needed to transition to adulthood.   This fall, the Utah State Library Division will bring …

Native American Boarding Schools in the Am. West & in Utah (ca. 1870s-1980s) with Dr. Farina King (Diné): Part 1 – an Introduction

Date: August 29, 2022 (Season 5, Episode 1: 53 minutes & 56 seconds long). Click here for the BuzzSprout version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click here. The above photo is of a circa 1970s high school graduate group at Brigham City’s Intermountain Indian School (1950-1984). Photo courtesy of …

American Boarding School Policies with Native American College Adviser Franci Lynne Taylor (Choctaw) – Part 2

Date: September 26, 2022 (Season 5, Episode 4: 54 minutes and 19 seconds long). Click here for the BuzzSprout version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click here. The above photo is of the Carlisle Indian Boarding School student body, circa 1885. The Carlisle Indian Boarding School, located in Carlisle, …

“Making Lamanites: Mormons, Native Americans and the… Placement Program”: A Conversation with Historian Matthew Garrett – Part 3

Date: October 3, 2022 (Season 5, Episode 5: 53 minutes 56 seconds). Click here for the BuzzSprout version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click here. The above photo is of Spencer W. Kimball, the 12th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, seated with four Navajo …

Diné Elders, Rose Jakub and Gayle Dawes, Describe their Multi-generational Boarding School Experiences – Part 4

Date: October 24, 2022 (Season 5, Episode 6: 80 minutes long). Click here for the BuzzSprout version of this Speak Your Piece episode. Are you interested in other episodes of Speak Your Piece? Click here. The above photo is of a Diné mother and daughters, circa mid-1950s, beside a hogan at Oljato-Monument Valley (Navajo: Ooljééʼtó). Photo courtesy of the Utah …