David Wilkins: On the passing of Vine Deloria Jr.

"Vine Deloria Jr., our indigenous champion, has walked on, causing a tsunami of emotions that will rock the heart of Indian country, and beyond, for a long time.

He was never quite comfortable with the notion that he was, in fact, the principal champion of tribal nations since he wanted - no, demanded - that each Native nation express confidence in its own national identity, develop its own unique talents and together wield their collective sovereignty, that is, their dignity and integrity, in a way that enriches them and the nations around them as well.

Deloria's multitude of accomplishments, including two dozen books (beginning with ''Custer Died for Your Sins''), several hundred articles, thousands of speeches and testimonials, etc., covering topics as broad as federal Indian law and policy, anthropology, American Indian studies, education, theology, indigenous knowledge systems, science, and numerous other fields, are staggering for their depth and breadth. In recent years, he had reluctantly begun to accept various ''lifetime'' achievement awards for his sustained and prodigious intellectual and pragmatic efforts aimed at improving conditions for all oppressed groups - beginning with tribal nations. Still, his unique human quest cannot be easily summarized."

Get the Story:
David Wilkins: Native visionary spoke for all disadvantaged Americans (Indian Country Today 12/1)

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 Jr. remembered at Haskell forum (12/1)
Opinion: Deloria was passionate advocate (11/28)
Harjo: My photo album of Vine Deloria Jr. (11/24)
Billy Frank: Keeping Vine Deloria's fire alive (11/24)
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)