Native American Historian to Speak Nov. 15 at Colorado State as Part of Native American Awareness Month

In celebration of Native American Awareness month, Colorado State University’s Department of History and Native American Student Services is hosting renowned scholar and cultural historian, Philip Deloria, as he presents "Crossing the (Indian) Color Line: A Family History." Deloria’s presentation is at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, in Room 104 in Yates Hall on the Colorado State campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

In June 1931, Deloria’s grandmother – white, patrician and pious – agreed to marry his grandfather, an American Indian athlete-turned-minister. Their union brought together two grand histories of colonial encounter and unleashed tensions surrounding issues of race, gender, the preservation and recording of Native cultures, and the reconciliation of the histories and memories of the dispossession of Native North America.

Deloria will discuss how these tensions fueled careers and great achievement for his grandfather and great-aunt, but the histories and social structures that they embodied had a destructive impact on his family.

In addition to Deloria’s presentation, the Fort Collins Museum is hosting a book club throughout the month of November focused on Deloria’s book, "Playing Indian." CSU history professor, Greg Smoak, is leading the discussions at the museum at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 14 and 28.

Deloria is a professor of history and American studies at the University of Michigan. The author of two prize-winning books, he is the son of the late Vine Deloria Jr., one of the most famous and important American Indian activists and writers of the late 20th century.

The event is sponsored by the Fort Collins Museum, the Fort Collins Museum Foundation, the Lilla B. Morgan Memorial Fund, the Colorado State Department of History and office of Native American Student Services.

This is the first year that the Fort Collins Museum is working with the Native American Student Services and the CSU history department to sponsor events during Native American Awareness Month.

For more information, contact Greg Smoak at (970) 491-6377 or To participate in the book club, call (970) 221-6738.