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Ella C. Deloria
1888 - 1971

Dakota Indian Foundation is home to the Ella C. Deloria Research Papers that were instrumental in the books she wrote. Ms. Deloria was born in 1888 to her parents Philip Deloria, a Yankton Sioux and Mary Sully/Bordeaux, of Sans Are Sioux ancestry.

Ella was educated under her auspices of the Church, but was also greatly influenced by her relatives, Native culture and language.

Ella graduated from ColumbiaUniversity in 1915 and moved to New York with her two younger siblings. She participated in many studies and served as an educator wherever she went.

In 1944, Ella wrote Speaking of Indians, a work that examined both traditional and contemporary Indian life. Ella served as the Director for St. Elizabeth’s Mission in Wakpala, South Dakota from 1955 to 1958.

In 1961, Ella was Assistant Director of the W.H. Over Museum located at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. She conducted linguistic research and prepared exhaustive analytical research of Siouan Language. Her work is evident in Rigg’s Dictionary including Teton dialect 

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