The American West Center consults, researches, publishes and provides educational and curricular support to Indian tribes, school districts, other interested organizations and the general public. Some of the most notable past and ongoing Center projects are listed below.
Pueblo Water Rights Inventory. The American West Center worked with the All-Indian Pueblo Council to expand the archive to include extensive water rights documents and information. A general inventory of documents available at the archive and elsewhere was created and separate inventories for each Pueblo were also produced. 1993-1995.
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Water Rights. The American West Center is working with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes to develop documentation of their water rights as well as other rights which they received through treaties but are now in dispute. This project is current.
Big Cottonwood Canyon Water Distict. The center is continuing a project which will provide a history of this water district. This project is current.
The American West Center is recognized for its cooperative work in researching over a dozen tribal histories which are used in the school curricula on reservation and neighboring communities.
- Sharing the Desert: The Tohono O'odham in History
- A History of the Northern Ute People
- Numa: A Northern Paiute History
- The Southern Utes: A Tribal History
The American West Center also works with tribes to develop historical and ethnographical documentation to support legal claims. It has assisted fifteen tribes with developing tribal archives relevant to their land, water and culture.
- Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Archive
- "The Rivers and Fisheries of the Shoshone-Bannock Peoples"
- The Tohono O'odham Tribal Archives
The American West Center has aided numerous tribes in the establishment of tribal archives. This activity usually involved going to the various repositories of the the National Archives to extract and copy documents relative to the history of the respective tribes. Usually researchers from the tribe as well as from the center would go in order to educate the tribal representative as to the collection process. Staff members of the center would then help to catalogue the collection and create card files to identify the documents and to reference them according to subject. The following are the tribes or tribal groups for which archives have been established: Acoma; All-Indian Pueblo Council; Hupa; Lummi; Nevada Inter-Tribal Council; Santa Ana; Shoshone-Bannock; Southern Ute; Tesuque; Tohono O'odham; Uintah-Ouray; Utah Navajo Development Council; Ute Mountain Ute; White Mesa Ute; Zuni.
The American West Center coal mining card collection. The staff at the center created a card file with synopses of newspaper articles dealing with Utah coal mining issues. The file is available at the Marriott Library.
The American West Center hard rock mining card collection. The center's staff created a card file with synopses of newspaper articles dealing with Utah mining issues.
Oral History transcription. The American West Center continues to work with the Marriott Library as the contract transcriber for the oral histories of the state and the university.
Because of the experience in working with oral histories, the American West Center staff was involved in the editing of Calvin Rampton's memoir As I Recall (University of Utah Press, (1989) and Stan Lyman's recollection Wounded Knee 1973 (University of Nebraska Press, 1991.) The Wounded Knee book has created about $2,000 of royalty payments to the center.
Environmental History and Policy
The American West Center is involved in a variety of environmental history and policy projects. These projects include the history of Big Cottonwood Canyon; environmental protection on Indian reservations; and "An Inventory of Documents Relating to Pueblo Water Rights."