The University of Arizona American Indian Studies Program is proud to announce the 2012-2013 Vine Deloria Jr. Distinguished Indigenous Scholars Series. The series is an event that speaks to the core mission of the American Indian Studies Program by spreading the voices and visions of indigenous scholars to the greater public. This year celebrates the 30th anniversary of the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Arizona and features a series of lectures by the following prominent indigenous scholars: Philip J. Deloria, Oren Lyons, Suzan Harjo and the University of Arizona’s own Thomas Holm. With this year’s theme of "Unfinished Agendas: Indigenous Peoples in the 21st Century," our hope is to continue the voices and visions of our predecessors by honoring the life of Vine Deloria Jr., while illuminating the new and ongoing agendas facing Indigenous peoples around the world.
The series continues with Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation, who serves as a member of the Council of Chiefs of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. He is a principal figure in the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and is internationally recognized as an eloquent speaker for indigenous people.
Lyons' other credits include:
- Professor emeritus at the State University of New York, Buffalo
- Holds a doctor of laws degree from Syracuse University
- Leading voice at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Human Rights for Indigenous Peoples
- Serves on the UN Executive Committee of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders for Human Survival.
- Chairman of the board for the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development
- Chairman of the board for Plantagon, a world leader in green house innovation
- Has the United Nations NGO World Peace Prize, Sweden's Friends of the Children Award (with colleague Nelson Mandela), the Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor, the Rosa Parks Award and the George Arent Award for Environmental and Social Activism.
- Syracuse University has recently dedicated Lyons Hall in his honor.
- Is a celebrated author, artist and lacrosse hall of famer.
- Is the subject of an hourlong documentary by Bill Moyers
- Recently appeared in the film "The Eleventh Hour," produced by Leonardo DiCaprio.