Philip Deloria. Photo: Phi Beta Kappa of the University of Oregon

Standing Rock Sioux citizen lands Native history position at Harvard

Philip Deloria, a citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, is the first tenured professor of Native American history at Harvard University in Massachusetts.

Deloria joined the faculty last month, according to The Harvard Gazette, the university's official news source. He credited his family -- his father was the late scholar and activist Vine Deloria Jr. -- with shaping his views of history.

"So from my dad I was seeing the politics of the ’60s and ’70s play out; from my grandfather I was getting a bit of a one-on-one cultural education," Deloria told The Gazette. "Both of those things have now become important in the ways I think about and try to tell history."

Deloria also noted that Harvard University has a long history in Indian Country. Shortly after its founding, the Indian College was established there in 1636 to educate Native Americans.

The Indian College, though, was short-lived. Before closing in 1693, it only produced one Harvard graduate -- Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck, who was Wampanoag.

"I want to do things," Deloria told The Gazette. "Some significant part of that will be having a positive effect on the Harvard undergraduates who will be future leaders in Indian Country, and helping train the graduate students who will advance the field."

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