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Billy Frank: Keeping Vine Deloria's fire alive

"My brother, Vine Deloria Jr., of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, passed away on Nov. 13, joining the likes of Joe DeLaCruz of the Quinault and Dutch Kinley of the Lummi, as well as Joseph of the Nez Perce and Crazy Horse of the Lakota Sioux at the Great Council Fire. I will miss him deeply, and always be grateful for the brightness he contributed to the world.

Deloria was a rock, a steady hand in the struggle for justice. He was a man of great vision and spirit who understood the ongoing need to value Indian legacies in both tribal and non-tribal societies. He knew the wisdom of learning from our predecessors and comprehending ageless tribal traditions.

I will miss Deloria's intellect and his abiding determination to secure justice for the tribes. I will also miss his humor. He used it well, even in the face of seemingly hopeless adversity. He often called me ''Billy Jack'' as he teased me about being thrown into jail so often during the protest days of the 1960s. We fought many battles together, from the grassy banks of the Nisqually River to the marbled halls of Washington, D.C. We shared hundreds of podiums and thousands of thoughts and dreams. I credit him for instilling focus, leadership and direction to the ongoing struggles of the tribes."

Get the Story:
Billy Frank Jr.: The vision of Vine Deloria Jr. (Indian Country Today 11/23)

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:
Philip Deloria: Nasty pokes in column about father (11/23)
Tim Giago: Deloria gave Indian people a voice (11/22)
Mark Trahant: Few writers as powerful as Deloria (11/21)
Deloria celebration scheduled in Rapid City (11/18)
Opinion: Deloria was always ahead of the curve (11/18)
Column: Deloria advanced some wacky views (11/18)
Vine Deloria funeral set for Friday in Colorado (11/17)
Tribal leaders recall Deloria as powerful advocate (11/17)
Opinion: Deloria introduced us to Indian Country (11/17)
Rick Williams: On the passing of Vine Deloria Jr. (11/16)
Editorial: Deloria changed how America views Indians (11/16)
Art Coulson: Safe journey for Vine Deloria Jr. (11/16)
Appreciation: Deloria an influential American (11/16)
Indian Country: In memoriam Vine Deloria Jr. (11/16)
Editorial: Deloria contributed to all Americans (11/16)
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)