North Summit High School field named after storied Eastern Shoshone leader

Sep 30, 2021, 12:15 PM

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — North Summit High School on Wednesday named its football field after a storied chief of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe.

At an alumni assembly Wednesday evening, district and school leaders announced the naming of Washakie Field in honor of Chief Washakie as members of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe signed a proclamation in support of the name.

“It became clear to those of us on this committee and supported by the 5-0 vote of the school board that it was past time to name our field,” North Summit School District Superintendent Jerre Holmes said before a packed auditorium.

Holmes said Chief Washakie, who passed away in 1900, is remembered as a fearless leader and peacemaker who was instrumental in helping white settlers in the area while encouraging education among his people as a “most valuable weapon.”

Holmes told KSL in addition to naming the field at North Summit High, home of the Braves, after Chief Washakie, the school’s sports teams would also begin incorporating the rose, a symbol of the Eastern Shoshone, into their uniform designs.

“Respect is something that is not always given, but it’s almost always earned,” George Abeyta, a member of the Eastern Shoshone, told the audience. “You have earned my respect for your desire as a school to follow the proper protocols and to honor the Indigenous people of the North Summit Valley.”

Abeyta said it would have been easy for the school to give up its mascot name of the Braves at a time when other schools and sports teams are making such decisions.

A member of the North Summit High girls soccer team takes a penalty kick during a game on Sept. 29, 2021. (Andrew Adams/KSL TV)

“With honor and with courage and with wisdom and with respect, you chose to hang on to this name that you’ve proudly represented for generations,” Abeyta told the crowd. “Some people say forget about the past, but as you know it’s impossible because with each and every generation, we hang on to the greatness of those who walked before us.”

Parents also welcomed the naming of the field after Chief Washakie.

“What a way to honor our heritage and the people who were here before us,” said Derek Peterson. “It’s a showing of admiration more than anything.”

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North Summit High School field named after storied Eastern Shoshone leader