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Vine Deloria, Jr. Indigenous Studies Symposium

Home > About NWIC > 2023 Vine Deloria Jr. Indigenous Studies Virtual Symposium – VDS

18th Annual Vine Deloria, Jr. Indigenous 

Studies Symposium 

May 18th & 19th, 2023

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Vine Deloria, Jr. Indigenous Studies Symposium is to honor the life and continue the work of one of the nation’s foremost authors, scholars, and intellectuals who passed away on November 13, 2005.  Throughout his life Deloria maintained ties with friends, tribes, and institutions in the Northwest.  One of his final public appearances was as the plenary speaker at the Robert K. Thomas Symposium held in 2005 at Northwest Indian College.  Following this event he expressed his desire to make the college the site of a yearly symposium in indigenous studies.  It is with this mandate in mind that we not only seek to carry out his wishes, but also to name the symposium in his honor.


Victoria Walsey-Honanie

Vine Deloria Jr. Indigenous Studies Symposium Co-Coordinator

Work Phone: (360) 392-4267


Emma Norman

Vine Deloria Jr. Indigenous Studies Symposium Co-Coordinator

Work Phone: (360) 392-4309

Spirituality in practice

We are thrilled to focus on celebrating the 50th publication anniversary of the Book God Is Red: A Native View of Religion by Vine Deloria, Jr. Our agenda centers on exploring how spirituality is put into practice in Indian country, as it is an essential part of Native American culture, and there are many different beliefs and practices across various tribes and communities. We are honored to have speakers who will share their experiences of putting spirituality into practice through stories, providing a connection with their history, culture, and theology.

This year, we are moving towards an in-person only event, which has always been an original intention of the Symposium, allowing those present to speak from the heart. The Symposium will be recorded in its entirety and will be posted to our website later this year.

We will be opening our doors more this year while still following the recommended safety protocols, and masks will be provided onsite, although not required. The Symposium takes place in the log building on the Lummi NWIC campus, and if we reach capacity, overflow viewing will be available in the Elders Rooms in building 5, please see the map below. Priority seating will be reserved for elders, community members, and NWIC students.

The event is free, and pre-registration can be done online or on-site. We will start at 9:00 AM and anticipate lunch from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM.

We look forward to having you join us for this significant event celebrating Native American spirituality.

2023 VDS Poster


Please consider making a gift to support the NWIC Foundation or Lhaq’temish Foundation. Donations will be used to support students and research at NWIC. We appreciate your support! The Lhaq’temish Foundation is available here to support the Lummi Nation. In the Lummi language, we say “Hy’shqe” thank you for your support.

Financial Aid

Northwest Indian College administers a broad range of financial aid, scholarships, and work-study programs for students who can demonstrate financial need.

Student Life

NWIC students are encouraged to engage and integrate into the life of the institution. Students are offered opportunities to participate in enrichment activities through Student Affairs, student government, and residence life.

NWIC Extended Campus Locations

Northwest Indian College‘s main campus is located at the Lummi Nation. The College also has six full service extended campus sites located at Muckleshoot, Nez Perce, Nisqually, Port Gamble S’Klallam, Swinomish, and Tulalip. Please use the location links to view details for each extended campus site.

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