Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The legacy of Vine Deloria Jr.

I just found out, today, that American Indian author and educator, Vine Deloria Jr. died on November 13.

Link to article at Indian Country .com

(excerpt)" So why in this land called the United States of America is one of the most important intellects and social justice activists of the last century, known and respected so widely among indigenous peoples of North America, still unrecognized - to a shameful extent - by the larger society? Think about it. It is a sign of how much popular stereotypes and thinking about the people of the first nations of America still needs to change. Rosa Parks received the nationwide attention her life and death deserved; the absence of a similar response for Deloria's life and death is telling. Almost 40 years after Deloria captured the attention of the general public with his wit and keen insights in the now classic ''Custer Died For Your Sins'' and his follow-up work ''We Talk, You Listen,'' it appears far too few listened or are listening.

Throughout his life's work, he never stopped trying to engage the dominant institutions of the United States in an honest dialogue and discussion about the important issues of life on this planet and the universe. Deloria read widely and wrote across academic disciplines. At best, this earned him a reputation as a ''renaissance man'' and at worst, a dismissal because he was not an academic specialist. Both evaluations miss the distinguishing feature that indigenous people recognized in Deloria's work: he was an indigenous thinker, an indigenous intellectual. "

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Jade L Blackwater said...

I was reading this one this morning... did you get a chance to read the poem posted as well?

Hoka-shay-honaqut said...

No, but I will.