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Vine Deloria Jr. Theological Symposium

November 13, 2023 - November 15, 2023

In 2013 the annual American Indian and Alaska Native Symposium at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago was renamed in honor of Vine Deloria Jr., an alum of Augustana Seminary, Rock Island, Ill., a predecessor school of LSTC. The symposium has been held in November each year since it began 15 years ago and is co-sponsored by the Pero Center for Intersectionality Studies at LSTC and the ELCA’s Indigenous Ministries and Tribal Relations. The symposium will be fully virtual this year, and the theme is tribal sovereignty.

At the height of the American Indian Movement and beyond, Vine Deloria Jr. played a significant role in strengthening tribal sovereignty for federally recognized tribes in the United States. Throughout his work — from serving as executive director of the National Congress of American Indians to serving as a law professor at the University of Arizona during his retirement and so much in between — Deloria influenced how Native Nations, Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people understand Indigenous self-determination and explore ways to further tribal sovereignty. During this year’s Vine Deloria Jr. Theological Symposium, participants will hear from scholars and leaders who continue this work. Attendees will learn what tribal sovereignty means and how securing sovereignty is justice work.

Learn more about this year’s speakers (pdf)