From the Archives–December 2, 1504

One of Deloria’s responsibilities as executive director of the National Congress of American Indians was the publication of a newsletter known as the NCAI Sentinel. In early 1965 he mailed his first issue to the few dues-paying members left, thirteen tribes and forty-eight individuals. Bearing the title “Now Is the Time,” his lead editorial emphasized the importance of having a vital national organization to represent Indian interests and challenged Indian America to revitalize the NCAI as it entered its third decade of existence. The quarterly newsletter reported on current developments around Indian country and in Washington, and beginning with his third issue (Fall 1965) Deloria included humorous pieces as well by launching what was to become a regular feature titled “From the Archives.” Assuming the voice of an overworked NCAI administrator reporting to the tribes on his encounters with bumbling European adventurers after 1492, he fashioned a compelling alternative narrative of discovery. This entry, dated only twelve years after Columbus happened upon the Americas, was the inaugural column in the series and Deloria’s first published writing on religion in America.

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