+SPOTLIGHT | JOSH LITTLE

Josh Little

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Tribe: Oglala Lakota

Age: 23

Ndn Name: Josh Thunder Little

White Name: Josh Thunder Little

What are the first 3 words that come to mind when you hear the word healing?

The three words that come to my mind when I think of the world healing are community, environment, and music.

Bio/ backstory, tell us what you DO and a bit about how you came to do it.

Growing up I had realized that Native American history is being misrepresented or altogether left out of school curriculum. After finishing high school, I pursued my passion of history by earning a Bachelors of Art as a double major in History and Native American Studies at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). During my time as an undergraduate student I worked in the local native community in Riverside as an office assistant in the Native American Student Programs resource center at UCR, organized youth summer programs, and hosted youth workshops. Now I am a second year history PhD. student at UCR and hope to become a professor that teaches Native American history and connects native students to higher education.

How do you heal?

I heal by going to community events. Music is also one of my many outlets that helps me stay balanced. I enjoy attending concerts and playing the guitar when I am not studying.

What is your calling rn?

My calling right now is to mentor native youth, mentor undergraduate college students, and continue my research on Lakota water sovereignty.

Do your ancestors affect what you do, how you live? If so, how?

My ancestors inspire me to do what I do because they resisted the United States government in their own ways so I can help my community for the next seven generations.

Who are your Mentors/ role models?

My mentors/role models include: My parents Richard and Monica Little, Crazy Horse, Clifford Trafzer, Rebecca Kugel, Robert Perez, Huanani Kay Trask, Cutcha Risling Baldy, and my girlfriend Kianna Maldonado.

What inspires/ drives you to keep going?

The importance of supporting native youth and building relationships amongst Indigenous nations to resist colonialism inspires me. Promoting sovereign relationships between native nations is a decolonial method to escape the western understandings of sovereignty that the colonial government structure has indoctrinated Indigenous people into.

If you could relay a mantra, message, wisdom, ism, food for thought to Indigenous 20 somethings from the US and abroad what would you say?

Be a good ancestor.

I20SP