Clementine Bordeaux on Ella Deloria

“Kinship is the responsibility of being a good neighbor— not only to other people, but to yourself.”

Doctoral student Clementine Bordeaux, a Lakota woman, tells the story of Ella Deloria, a brilliant Dakota ethnographer, educator, and linguist who had the vision not only to gather oral histories, myths, languages and evidence of her people’s culture before they were lost forever, but to tell their story from their own perspective. The books Ella Deloria wrote, Speaking of Indians and especially Water Lily, affected Clementine as a young girl on the Pine Ridge Reservation and sent her on her own life path. Among other things, the books teach “what it means to be a woman” and how to “keep the rules of kinship” with all people, including yourself. Powerful and relevant messages. Please watch the story of this visionary Native scholar who was far ahead of her time.


Clementine Bordeaux

Clementine Bordeaux (Sicangu Oglala Lakota) is a doctoral student and an independent artist. Currently, she is in the World Arts and Cultures doctoral program at UCLA. She received a Master’s degree from the University of Washington, Seattle, through the Native Voices Indigenous documentary film program and an undergraduate degree in Theatre from Carthage College. In Clementine’s spare time, she sits on the Board for Cornerstone Theatre Company and was appointed in 2018 to serve on the Native American Indian Commission for the County and City of Los Angeles.

Instagram and Twitter: @borclem

Featured Woman

Ella Cara Deloria

Ella Cara Deloria is best known for her linguistic and ethnographic work on the Sioux Nation. Though not formally trained as anthropologist, she gained a reputation in the field. She brought a new perspective on her work, as she was born on the Yankton Sioux Reservation and part of a traditional Dakota Sioux family.