Vine Deloria Jr. Theological Symposium

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. All events will be accessible online, 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


Monday, Nov. 13

Symposium Chapel Service
11:30 a.m. Central time

The Rev. David Wilson (Choctaw), Preaching
Bishop of the Great Plains Conference of The United Methodist Church


Symposium Lecture
6 p.m. Central time

Stacy Leeds (Cherokee)
Willard H. Pedrick Dean and Regents Professor at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University


Tuesday, Nov. 14

Symposium Panel Presentation
6 p.m. Central time

Dr. Aaron Payment (Chippewa)
Vice President of Tribal Relations and Learning for Kauffman and Associates

Fawn Sharp (Quinault)
President of the National Congress of American Indians


Wednesday, Nov. 15

Symposium Chapel Service
11:30 a.m. Central time

Vance Blackfox (Cherokee), Preaching
ELCA’s Director of Indigenous Ministries and Tribal Relations

The Rev. Dr. Linda Thomas, Presiding
Director of the Pero Center for Intersectionality Studies


Preregistration is not required to participate. Just click the “join” buttons to attend.