Southern Utah News Articles
Vivienne Caron Jake died on February 23, 2016 at her home in Eagle Mountain Village, Arizona. She was born on February 24, 1939 in Kanab, Utah.
Vivienne was preceded in death by parents Morris Jake and Lucille Tom Jake, and all her brothers and sisters; Linda, Vernon, Merle, Ladonna, Sheldon, Floraine, Charles and Troy.
She is survived by her daughter Brittanni-Anne Wero; grandchildren Brad, Benny, Briana and Brandie; great-grandchild Rex Holyelkface; nephews Verdell Jake, LeAnn Shearer, Becky Greenwood, Cynthia Jake, Christina Jake, Ronica Spute, Tara Spute, Jacqueline Spute and Denise Spute.
Vivienne attended Kaibab Day School through the third grade, and loved never needing shoes all summer long. She went to schools in White Rocks, Uinta, and was Salutatorian of her high school class in 1956 from the Phoenix Indian School. She studied further at Arizona State University and the University of Indiana.
In 1964 she found her life’s mission as an activist for her people as a social worker on the Hopi reservation. She served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1968 to 1971. Her work for the Kaibab Paiute Tribe spanned four decades, as Tribal Chair 1975-1977, Director of Social Services 1980-1988, Director of NAGPRA 1990-1997, Environmental Director 1998-2003, and several terms on the tribal council, including 2009-2011.
Vivienne was always engaged in a fight for her people and the environment, which she viewed as inseparable. As tribal chairwoman she helped secure House Rock as traditional Kaibab territory. In 1989 she formed the “Paiute Earthkeepers” to help defeat a hazardous waste incinerator proposal. Among other issues, she exposed uranium tailing problems from local mining, confronted historical lies concerning the Mountain Meadows Massacre and Circleville Massacre, opposed the Lake Powell Pipeline, advocated for Kaibab ancestral remains at Jackson Flat, and spoke at national Bioneers conferences. Perhaps her most important legacy will be co-founding the Salt Song Trail Project in 2000 with Chemehuevi Matthew Leivas, Sr. to help secure that core tradition of the Southern Paiute.
Vivienne chose to stop dialysis. Driving home for the last time, she said, “I’m going to the front lines, and ready to face this new battle.” She will be deeply missed.
All services will be held at the Kaibab Paiute Tribe Multi-Purpose Building. There will be a half-night sing Thursday night, a funeral at 1 p.m. on Friday, followed by an all night sing, and burial will be at 6 a.m. (Before sunrise) at the Kaibab Paiute Tribal Cemetery. All arrangements were made with Mosdell Mortuary.