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Utah Women Are Resolute

March 1, 2021
Illustration of Annie Dodge Wauneka

Illustration by Brooke Smart, design by Michelle Proctor.

March is Women’s History Month! Women’s stories are important 365 days of the year, but March is a great time to highlight women in our past who have shaped Utah in significant ways. Join us for a virtual celebration on March 18 at 11:30 am for games, stories, trivia, and prizes from women-owned businesses! Register here for the link!

This month’s theme is “Utah Women Are Resolute.” Nobody encapsulates that better than Annie Dodge Wauneka! Born into the Tse níjikíní (Cliff Dwelling People) Clan of the Navajo Tribe, Annie’s childhood experiences during the flu epidemic of 1918-1920 shaped her life’s work in public health. Download our calendar featuring Annie here!

Annie wanted to make healthcare more accessible to members of the Navajo Nation, so she earned a degree in public health and won election to the Navajo Tribal Council. She created an English to Navajo medical dictionary and broadcast a weekly radio show in Navajo about disease prevention and treatment. And she encouraged the Public Health Service and hataałii (Diné traditional healers) to work together and appreciate the others’ knowledge and contributions. Read more about her work and national recognition here.

Other resolute women in Utah history include:

  • Emma McVicker, born on March 5—an advocate for early childhood education and first woman appointed to statewide office in Utah.
  • Katherine Fenton Nutter, born on March 12—Utah’s cattle queen who came west as a telegraph operator.
  • Pop Chalee, born on March 20—a Taos Pueblo artist born in Utah known for her paintings of enchanted forests.
  • Hannah Kaaepa, born on March 21—a Hawaiian immigrant to Utah who boldly spoke for Hawaiian women’s voting rights.
  • Violet Bear Allen, born on March 22—a Skull Valley Goshute artisan who nurtured the next generation.
  • And George Sutherland, born on March 25—a U.S. Senator, Supreme Court Justice, and strong proponent of women’s political rights.

We want to hear from you this month about women in your family or community who have made a difference! Use the hashtag #shestartedit and tag us on social media @betterdays2020 so we can share!