Alfreda Mitre, Councilwoman, Las Vegas Paiute Tribe and former Senior Tribal Policy Advisor, EPA Region 8
William Bauer, Director, American Indian & Indigenous Studies; Professor, Department of History, UNLV
UNLV acknowledges and honors the Indigenous communities of this region, and recognizes that the university is situated on the traditional homelands of the Nuwuvi, Southern Paiute People. Historically, Southern Paiutes were hunter-gatherers and lived in small family units. Prior to colonial influence, their territory spanned across what is today Southeastern California, Southern Nevada, Northern Arizona, and Southern Utah. Within this territory, many of the Paiutes would roam the land moving from place to place. Often there was never really a significant homebase. The Las Vegas Paiute Tribe (LVPT) mentions that, “Outsiders who came to the Paiutes' territory often described the land as harsh, arid and barren; however, the Paiutes developed a culture suited to the diverse land and its resources.”(synopsis via UNLV's website)
Though many paths and peoples have traversed the Southwest, and the wider Las Vegas area more specifically, the history of the Indigenous peoples in this region is one that many may be wholly unfamiliar with. We hope you were able to join us for a discussion focused on issues related to land ownership, housing, cultural celebrations, politics, education, and healthcare within tribal communities.
What is the purpose of a Land Acknowledgement?
A land acknowledgement recognizes and respects the relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their ancestral and contemporary territories. Additionally, land acknowledgements provide us with the opportunity to explore the impacts of colonization and systems of oppression on Indigenous Peoples. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a historical context or past tense. It is vital to understand the long-standing history that brought us to reside on the land, and to seek to understand our place within that history. Colonialism is a current, ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness and understanding of our present participation. (Synopsis credit: UNLV's website)
For additional information about the history of the Nuwuvi/Nuwu/Southern Paiute peoples on UNLV's website specifically, please visit: