Vine Deloria (March 26, 1933–November 13, 2005) throughout his life and works promoted a cohesive understanding of Native American culture and history. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1958, in 1963 he received a Theology degree from the Lutheran School of Theology in Rock Island, Illinois, and in 1970 he received a Law Degree from the University of Colorado. It was not until 1978 that he came to the University of Arizona and established the first Master’s Degree program for American Indian Studies in the United States. He also taught in the College of Law for the University of Arizona.
Deloria wrote over twenty books in his lifetime, his most famous being Custer Died For Your Sins: An Indian manifesto in 1969. He also received many high honors such as Wordcraft Circle Writer of the Year Award for his work Spirit and Reason in 1999, the Wallace Stegner award from the Center of the American West in 2002, as well as the American Indian Festival of Words Author Award in 2003.