The Commission on State Indian Affairs was created in 1953 when the Utah State Legislature passed the “Indian Affairs Act.” The first director for the commission was hired in 1956. The commission was restructured in 1999 as the Division of Indian Affairs. It is currently  staffed by the Director, Program Manager, and Administrative Assistant. It is part of the Department of Heritage & Arts.



Our Staff

Shirlee Silversmith
Division Director

801-715-6701
ssilversmith@utah.gov

James Toledo
Program Manager

801-715-6702
jtoledo@utah.gov

Dominique Talahaftewa
Administrative Assistant

801-715-6703
dtalahaftewa@utah.gov

Our mission is to promote positive intergovernmental relations and the government to government relationship between the State of Utah and Utah’s American Indian tribes.


Background

The Commission on State Indian Affairs was created in 1953 when the Utah State Legislature passed the “Indian Affairs Act.” The first director for the commission was hired in 1956. The commission was restructured in 1999 as the Division of Indian Affairs. It is currently  staffed by the Director, Program Manager, and Administrative Assistant. It is part of the Department of Heritage & Arts

Authority

The Division of Indian Affairs has mandated functions, powers, duties, rights, and responsibilities under Utah Code Annotated, Chapter 9: Parts 1, 2, & 3 of the “Indian Affairs Act.”

Scope of Responsibility

  • Serve as the Indian Affairs authority for the state of Utah under UCA Sec. 9-1-101.
  • Serve as liaison and promote positive intergovernmental relations with and between Utah Indian Tribes, Office of the Governor, federal and state agencies, and local entities.
  • Coordinate with the Governor’s office to address Indian Affairs’ issues and develop policies.
  • Coordinate with the Native American Legislative Liaison Committee to develop Indian legislation and address Indian Affairs’ issues.
  • Works closely with the Native American Remains Review Committee to determine disposition of human remains found on state or school trust lands.
  • Monitor Utah and Federal Indian legislation which impacts Utah Indian Tribes and the state of Utah. Develop programs and services, provide alternatives, and implement solutions that will allow Indian citizens an opportunity to share in the progress of the state of Utah.

Hours of Operation

Monday-Friday
8 a.m.-5 p.m.