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Opinion
Indian Country: In memoriam Vine Deloria Jr.


"Burn tobacco today for the wonderful spirit of Vine Deloria Jr., who passed into the world of the ancestors Nov. 13. Our sincerest condolences and warmest embrace reach out to his family and dear friends, and a great commiseration is extended to all of Indian country, where Deloria - author, teacher, lawyer, man - is universally respected and where his memory will live on for the generations.

Deloria, the world-renown Hunkpapa author and scholar from the Standing Rock Reservation, made a huge contribution to the Native peoples of North America and the world. His intellectual output, at once free-ranging with creativity and yet tight with academic rigor, pinned down the legal and historical bases desperately needed by the national Indian discourse. He provided a great piece of the intellectual locomotion upon which a moving platform of American Indian/Native studies research, publishing, production and teaching has been constituted.

His writing is legendary, launched by the classic ''Custer Died For Your Sins,'' which plugged directly into the common imagination of the American Indian Movement in the 1960s and early 1970s. Along with ''We Talk, You Listen'' and ''Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties,'' these early Deloria works informed, during those crucial years, the widest cross-section of activists, students and older community leaders and traditional authorities. For a movement that had disparate and very independent bases in Indian country, where political persuasions ran the full spectrum of left to right and front to back, Deloria's deliberate, well-reasoned tone, backed by acerbic wit and genuine self-effacement, hit the formative chord."

Get the Story:
Vine Deloria Jr. - In memoriam (Indian Country Today 11/15)

Indian Country Today Articles from January 10, 2005:
Wilma Mankiller: An original thinker with a warrior's spirit
Suzan Shown Harjo: Selective memories of Vine Deloria Jr.
Faith Spotted Eagle: Deksi (Uncle) Vine
Charlie Wilkins: Visionary thinker and wordsmith par excellence
Hank Adams: A Vine Deloria Jr. collaboration: The first decade
John Mohawk: Vine Deloria Jr.'s unfolding legacy
Philip Deloria: Tales of a remarkable father
Norbert Hill: A hero to many

Related Stories:
Vine DeLoria: Spoke for a nation of Natives (11/15)
Deloria hailed as 'visionary' for role in Indian affairs (03/11)
Jodi Rave: Deloria unknown because he's Indian (01/24)
Vine Deloria is ICT's American Indian Visionary (01/10)
Column: Vine Deloria refuses honorary degree (05/25)