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Vine Deloria, Jr. Indigenous Studies Symposium

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Northwest Indian College

2522 Kwina Road

Bellingham, WA 98226

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The 12th Annual Vine Deloria , Jr. Indigenous Studies Symposium will be May 19-21, 2017, at Northwest Indian College’s Lummi campus in Bellingham, WA.

The purpose of the annual Deloria Symposium is to honor the life and continue the discussion of pressing issues within Indian Country. Vine was one of our nation’s foremost authors, intellectuals and scholars who never veered from challenging the status quo in order to improve the lives of Indigenous Nations whose voices were often underrepresented in mainstream Western decision-making processes.

This year we acknowledge the efforts at Vine’s home, The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, by re-visiting work in his book co-authored with David E. Wilkins, The Legal Universe: Observations on the Foundations of American Law (2011).

Vine’s final chapter is the theme for this year’s conference:

The Natural World and The Law

“Physical forces that support life, such as air, water, and land, are conceived in a legal sense as if they had no existence apart from the human legal rights that have been attached to them. Strangely, humans could destroy all vestiges of natural life without ever violating the constitutional provisions regarding the protection of property. According to the dominant Western paradigm, the present conception of property revolves around our use of it, not around its existence as an element of the universe in its own right. Nature, in short, has virtually no rights of its own in the present legal system.”

Presentations will speak to the this year's theme and connect to the spirit that Vine infused, one which encouraged new ideas, discourse and challenging of the status quo.

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Northwest Indian College

2522 Kwina Road

Bellingham, WA 98226

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