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The Timpanogos Make A Rare Public Appearance

Brigham Young University ecology professor Ben Abbott invited Chief Executive Mary Meyer of the Timpanogos Nation to speak at the Utah Lake symposium that was held at Utah Valley University on June 5th. Utah Lake has been in decline from years of abuse and neglect going back decades. Toxic algae blooms, and invasive fish such as carp have led to developers recommending the lake be dredged and islands built in an effort to accommodate Utah Valley's burgeoning population growth. Whereas ecologists and scientists disagree with such plans saying it would drastically change the ecology of the lake.

Quoting from the Salt Lake Tribune article, “It seems to me this project would do more to damage than help,” said Meyer, whose ancestors once inhabited the lake shore, in her opening remarks. “Utah, I ask that you please take heed to what the experts opposing this project have to say. Our people and the reeds around this lake give you your name. We stand in favor of restoring the lake to its natural beauty, but have to oppose privatizing and desecrating this historic sacred site.” (See the full article in the Salt Lake Tribune)


"I am forever grateful to Mary Meyer and the Timpanogos Nation for sharing your well documented history and helping me with many aspects of the book assuring readers that the Timpanogos Nation is represented accurately.

Sunrise Ceremony

I have dedicated this book to the Timpanogos Nation and hope it will be an inspiration to all for generations to come." ~ Author Phillip B Gottfredson

Black Hawk's Mission of Peace author Phillip B Gottfredson copyright 2020

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About the Book

The Timpanogos were first discovered by Spanish explorer Juan Revera in 1765, and later Dominguez and Escalante in 1776. They describe in their journals having met “the bearded ones” who spoke Shoshone.

Some seventy thousand Timpanogos Indians – the aboriginal people of Utah – died from violence, starvation, and disease after Mormon colonists stole their land and destroyed their culture over a twenty-one-year timeframe, but few people know anything about them, who they are, or what they believed in.

Timpanogos leader Black Hawk witnessed the worst kind of man’s inhumanity to man, and himself dying from a gunshot wound traveled a hundred and eighty miles on horseback to make peace with the white man, and apologizes for the pain and suffering he caused them, asking them to do the same and end the bloodshed.

Phillip B Gottfredson, who has spent decades living among First Nations people seeking to understand Native American culture, provides a detailed synopsis of the Black Hawk War of Utah that decimated the Timpanogos Nation from 1849 and 1873.

His account brings a much-needed perspective to a war that has historically been examined from the one-sided perspective of the Mormons. In collaboration with tribal leaders, he shares the Timpanogos version of the story, writing from the vantage point of the native peoples of Utah – a reference point that has been deliberately ignored.

Join the author as he shares his extraordinary spiritual journey into the Native America culture. and highlights a war that has been overlooked and misunderstood for far too long.


Cover Design:

Cover design and forensic reconstruction of Timpanogos Chief Black Hawk was done by artist Carol Pettit Harding of Pleasant Grove, Utah

Carol Pettit Harding

Timpanogos Chief Black Hawk artist Carol Tacoma Pettit Harding

The Timpanogos lived by a lake they called Timpanogos. Dominguez and Escalante called the area El Valle de Nuestra Señora de la Merced de los Timpanogos (translation: The valley of our lady of mercy of the Timpanogos). The lake is known today as Utah Lake. The place is Utah Valley situated in the heart of the state of Utah. The Lagunas, fish eaters, Eutahs, and the bearded ones, the Timpangotzis they are called by all these names. Dominguez and Escalante describe the Timpanogos as a strong, kind and hospitable people.

Special recognition goes to Tracey Dunkley for contributing her photographs for the interior of the book.

Tracy & Phil


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