Anthropologist and novelist of Yankton Dakota background who recorded Sioux oral history and legends. She also wrote the novel Waterlily in the 1940s, though it wasn't published until 1988.
She was brought up on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation at Wakpala in South Dakota.
At the time of her death, she was in the process of compiling a dictionary of the Lakota language.
Her parents were named Mary Sully Bordeaux Deloria and Philip Joseph Deloria.
She and Lynn Shelton both studied at Oberlin College.