Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Mural of Vine Deloria, Jr. at Haskell Indian Nations University's Tommaney Library

Ask just about any Native scholar or activist to name someone who inspired them to do the work they do, and you're likely to hear "Vine Deloria, Jr." over and over again. You can see that in the tributes to him in 2005 at the Indianz article about his impact: Vine Deloria, Jr. giant in Indian Country, dies at 72

Without question, his writings are tremendously influential in my work in children's literature. Every library should have his books and books by Native writers on their shelves. Together, we can #IndigenizeLibraries across the continent! 

And so, it was exciting to see a mural of him being done at Haskell Indian Nations University's Tommaney Library. With permission from Carrie Cornelius (Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin & Prairie Band Potawatomi)--the extraordinary librarian there--I am sharing photos they put on Facebook as the mural was being done, live (via Zoom), on Tuesday, November 17th. The muralist is Steven Grounds (Euchee Navajo). Dr. Daniel Wildcat (Yuchi member of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma) delivered two lectures during the day.  

About the mural and the space it is in, Carrie Cornelius said "Every library needs safe places for Indigenous People." She's doing terrific work at the library. I'm glad to know her. She makes a huge difference in the life of Native students. 

Here's the photos. I've studied them more than once already. And take a look at that last one! Students approaching the library can see the mural through the windows. One day--I'll get there, and see it in person.