Remembering Chairman Rupert Steele

Feb 02, 2023 | General

The S.J. Quinney College of Law joins countless others in mourning the recent passing of Chairman Rupert Steele of the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation. Chairman Steele had a profound impact on both his own community and many others during his lifetime, and his passing is a tremendous loss for us all.

Chairman Steele was a spiritual leader and an advocate for sacred lands. He was also an influential voice on tribal sovereignty, protection of natural resources, and preservation of tribal languages, traditions and culture—all areas in which his work often overlapped with members of the College of Law. He was a strong advocate for passage of a Utah Indian Child Welfare Act, and he spoke widely on tribal connections to the Great Salt Lake.

“Many of us at the College of Law had the privilege of knowing Chairman Steele,” said Elizabeth Kronk Warner, dean of the College of Law. “He was a tireless champion of indigenous knowledge—which has deep relevance to so many of our modern challenges—and a vocal advocate for including indigenous perspectives in our responses to those challenges. He will be deeply missed.”

The University of Utah has also issued a statement on Chairman Steele’s passing. Read the university’s statement.