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Arviso Deloria

Vivian Arviso Deloria: Life and Work
This site includes Vivian Arviso Deloria’s biography, photos, and more.
Vivian Arviso Deloria
Vivian  Arviso Deloria
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Biography of Vivian Arviso Deloria

Vivian Arviso Deloria is an educator, school administrator, educational consultant, writer, and a specialist in curriculum development. Ms. Arviso, from the Diné people (Navajo), comes from Tohatchi, New Mexico, Fort Defiance Agency. For Wisdom Tales, Vivian Arviso Deloria has contributed the preface to Whispers of the Wolf, written and illustrated by Pauline Ts’o, and the foreword to The Woman Who Lived with Wolves, written and illustrated by Paul Goble.

The following detailed biography is adapted from the excellent section on her accomplishments on the webpage on “Women Comissioners” from the Navajo Nation Women's Commission website:

Vivian Arviso is owner of Arviso Educational Services, Inc. providing educational consultant services from Head Start through college levels. She has an extensive background in curriculum development working with research projects, hospitals, school districts, college and universities, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, and the National Book Foundation.

Her current focus is making a former project funded by the Ford Foundation entitled Tools for Iina (Life), into an evidenced-base curriculum for Navajo students through involvement of school nurses, educators, Hatathli (traditional healers), and parents. This curriculum, based on Diné teachings, seeks to provide protective factors for living a long life and to increase self-identity and decision making for Navajo students in the fourth through sixth grades. She is also working on a book chapter giving a retrospective of the 1961 American Indian Chicago Conference which produced the American Indian Declaration of Purpose.

A longtime educator, her early years were spent teaching at Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation where Ms. Arviso developed the year-long curriculum, Oglala Sioux History and Culture, for ninth-grade students. Funded by the U.S. Office of Education in 1971, it is the first Native curriculum in the country to test the change in self-image of Oglala Sioux students while learning their own history and culture. The resulting data confirmed the positive growth in self-image for Native students participating in this curriculum.

Vivian Arviso also worked at Black Hills State College and assisted the development of Oglala Lakota College, a tribal college on the Oglala Lakota Nation in South Dakota. On the Navajo Nation, she served as Vice President at Navajo Community College (now Diné College), as the Executive Director of Education for the Navajo Nation, and with the Zah Administration. In 2010, she received an honorary doctorate as Defender for the Lakota Way of Life and Wisdom from Sinte Gleska University, a tribally-controlled institution of higher education of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Mission, South Dakota.

In 2011, Ms. Arviso initiated the annual Hero Twins Conference for Navajo boys in partnership with the Miss Navajo Council, Inc. She is also a former Chair of the Board of Directors of the Southwestern Association on Indian Arts (SWAIA) which hosts the annual Santa Fe Indian Market.

Books/DVDs containing the work of Vivian Arviso Deloria

Contributions by Vivian Arviso Deloria to Wisdom Tales books:

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