Duane Champagne: Decades later, Vine Deloria resonates

"In his groundbreaking 1969 volume Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto, Vine Deloria Jr. wrote a now famous critique of anthropologists. He argued that they—as well as academics in general—were mainly interested in their own intellectual ends and were insufficiently concerned with the real-life challenges of Indian peoples.

As Deloria so memorably put it, “The anthro is usually devoted to PURE RESEARCH. Pure research is a body of knowledge absolutely devoid of useful application and incapable of meaningful digestion.” And again: “It would be wise for anthropologists to get down from their thrones of authority and PURE research and begin helping tribes instead of preying on them.”

Strong words indeed, and they bear recalling more than 40 years later."

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Duane Champagne: In Praise of Vine Deloria (Indian Country Today 3/26)

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