Utes give Karl Malone tribal name

Utah Jazz star Karl Malone and his wife, Kay, were guests at the Native American Sesquicentennial Conference July 25 in Provo, Utah.

He was invited to speak at the conference at the request of Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve and chairman of the Sesquicentennial Committee. The conference was held at the Provo Utah Oak Hills Stake center. About 500 Native Americans from the western United States attended.In attendance at the conference were Elder Ballard and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve, co-chairman of the committee and Elder Joe J. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy and co-chairman of the committee.

The conference was conducted by Larry EchoHawk, a Pawnee and former Idaho attorney who now teaches law at BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School.

Also speaking at te conference were Thomas Atcitty, vice president of the Navajo Nation, and Sacajawea Ramona Tecumseh, presidential appointee to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education.

Following Malone's comments, the basketball star was given a Ute name, "Kwiagat Muikway" which means "The Bear Who Leads With Dignity." To the Utes, the bear is a highly esteemed animal. The Utah Jazz team was given the name "Kava Wuni," which means "The Mountains Rise Up." The Jazz players and coaches were recognized as Honorary Avikan Wiitanuche Utes. Jazz owner Larry H. Miller accepted this recognition for the team.

In his remarks, the basketball star, who is Baptist, said: "To my thinking, everybody should make life better for the person who follows. Make it better for the children."

He said, "I don't think I was put here on earth just to play the game of basketball. It is a great avenue for me [to speak to and set an example for] our young people, but we all have faith to learn in life."

He said that the Jazz basketball team has prayer before every game. "I never say, Let me win.' I say,Give me the strength to go out and play as hard as I can."

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