Chief Sagwitch was born in 1822. As a boy, he honed his skills as a hunter and a speaker. He spent time with fur trappers and was well suited to be chief. Sagwitch was already a chief of the Northwestern Shoshone by the age of twenty-five when Mormons settlers came to the Utah territory. Sagwitch met the new leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young, and welcomed him and the rest of the Mormons into the area.
Sagwitch became friends with Brigham Young and did what he could to keep the peace between the Shoshone and the Mormons/settlers. Tensions grew and in January of 1863, Colonel Conners of the U.S. Army took his men and attacked the Shoshone who had camped at the Bear River for winter. Chief Sagwitch’s group was among them and was one of the few survivors. Sagwitch sought help for his people from Brigham Young and found aid from the Mormon Church, which Sagwitch later joined in 1875.