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Opinion
Appreciation: Deloria an influential American


"Some of you may not have heard of Vine Deloria Jr., Sioux, historian, attorney, theologian, best-selling author and Indian rights activist. Or maybe you remember his 1992 suit, along with six other prominent Indians, against the Washington Redskins, just one of his many activist firebombs lobbed on behalf of Native Americans. Dubbed the "red man's Ralph Nader," he reveled in the control of the keyboard, taking the scorched-earth approach to his writing, blasting Gen. Custer as "the Adolf Eichmann of the Plains."

Deloria, who died Sunday in Denver at 72, apparently of an aortic aneurysm, was known for his sardonic wit, for the many hats he wore comfortably, for his 20 books, many of them bestsellers. He courted controversy, took glee in it, even. And for generations of Native Americans, he was the intellectual spark that fueled a movement. Some see him as the most important Native American of the 20th century. Others see him as one of the most influential Americans of the 20th century, period."

Get the Story:
The Indian Who Overturned The Stereotypes (The Washington Post 11/16)
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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)