LUMMI, Wash. -- Vine Deloria Jr., author, retired professor and long-time
advocate of Native rights, delivered the keynote address at the 3rd Robert
K. Thomas Symposium at Northwest Indian College, July 21 -- 23. The Center
for Indian Scholars event was co-hosted by the Northwest Indian College and
the Lummi Indian Nation.
Deloria, Standing Rock Sioux, is also past president of the National
Congress of American Indians. The symposium is named for his late friend,
Robert K. Thomas, one of the founding fathers of American Indian Studies
and of the American Indian rights movement.
Thomas, Cherokee, was an anthropologist who coordinated the Chicago Indian
Conference in 1961 -- an event considered by many to be the beginning of
the American Indian rights movement of the 1970s. He trained individuals
who went on to become tribal leaders and activists, published books and
articles, and helped form the first American Indian Studies program in the
United States at the University of Arizona. He died in 1991.
The symposium was comprised of eight panels and more than 40 speakers from
throughout the United States and Canada, who addressed various issues of
importance to Indian country. Titles included "A Roundtable on Traditional
Views of the Land"; "The Role of Indigenous Knowledge"; "Science and Its
Slow March to the Indian Point of View"; and "Power and Place: Toward
Developing and Implementing Native-Based Science Education."
Richard Walker is a correspondent reporting from San Juan Island, Wash.
Contact him at email@example.com.