Monday, November 14, 2005


14November 2005. Somewhere in the Mojave Desert in California. I have just been notified of the passing over into the Spirit World of one of our greatest thinkers, writers, and leaders, Vine Deloria, Jr. For those of us old enough to remember the electrifying days of the worldwide struggles for civil rights, social justice, equality, dignity, and respect for all living beings, his loss is incalculable. As a multicultural/Indigenous person, my life and ideology have been shaped by this great man's perspectives, starting with his CUSTER DIED FOR YOUR SINS (1969). His ability to cut through the crap and get to the point educated me; his wit, reflecting my own, warmed me when it seemed there was no end to the coldness in the time and place in which I was thrown. He has been inspiration and icon to so many of us, who have grown through reading and reflecting on his observations; he has shaped and molded us into the beings we are, armed with self-esteem and humility as well as a knowledge of who we are as a people and what we possess in terms of strength, dignity, compassion, and honor. I could think of no greater tribute to him than the fact that he must know the positive impact he made on so many of us, and the surety of our passing his words and his essence on through the generations as we seek to preserve, protect and realize our own unique and valued ways of being, thinking, and doing.

To the family, the loved ones, and all of us to whom he was and is and will be important, my empathy, my love, and my shared admiration and tears.

He has gone to join the Ancestors, in whose company he surely is welcomed.