The Utes say that the Bear Dance came from a bear just emerging from hibernation who encountered
a young hunter. The bear described the dance, which would ensure successful hunting for the Utes.
The dance is a celebration of spring and an opportunity for Ute bands to join together after the long
W E S H A L L R E M A I N : U TA H I N D I A N C U R R I C U L U M G U I D E
THE BEAR DANCE AS AN EXPRESSION OF UTE CULTURE
The student will learn about Ute culture by investigating the Bear Dance tradition.
Ute Bear Dance Chart
Bear Dance Photographs
Two thirty-minute periods
At a Glance: The Bear Dance and Ute Community
The Night the Grandfathers Danced by Linda Theresa Raczek and illustrated by Katalin Olah Ehling
If you do not have access to a copy of this book, a PowerPoint of the story is available at
We Shall Remain: The Ute (chapter 2, 2:00–3:55; chapter 6, 25:22–end)
Ute Bear Dance Chart Answer Key
Additional footage available at www.kued.org/productions/weshallremain/ute/culture
Read The Night the Grandfathers Danced to your students. Ask them to share their favorite parts of
the story in an informal discussion. Ask the students if they are ready to take a test about Ute culture.
Once they are calmed back down, offer to read through the story again, page-by-page, having them
look for clues as you go along. Pass out a copy of the Ute Bear Dance Chart for the class to take notes
on as the story is reread. Allow students to work with a partner in completing the Ute Bear Dance
Conclude with a clip from We Shall Remain: The Ute to show students a contemporary example of the