By foregrounding Native stories, traditions, and language, I hope to inspire generations of Native youth to challenge the ways non-Native people have (often inaccurately) written and documented Native peoples.
John Little
Friday, May 18, 2018

Cobell Graduate Summer Research Fellowship awarded to American History doctoral student

John Little, doctoral student in American History, awarded Cobell Graduate Summer Research Fellowship

John Little, doctoral student in American History, awarded prestigious fellowship

Indigenous Education, Inc. is pleased to announce that John Little, doctoral student in American History at the University of Minnesota, is a 2018 recipient of the distinguished Cobell Graduate Summer Research Fellowship administered on behalf of the Cobell Board of Trustees. Each year, Indigenous Education, Inc. solicits applications for highly competitive research projects to be conducted during the summer at institutions across the country. The aim of the program is to select American Indian and Alaska Native student researchers who might not otherwise have access to funds to conduct research and related activities during the summer months. Researchers receive a cash stipend to defray costs associated with summer research, a faculty mentor on their campus, unparalleled academic attention from the Director of Research and Student Success at Indigenous Education, Inc. and opportunities to network with the other Cobell Summer Graduate Research Fellows. 

John says that “investing in and empowering Native youth is central to my future career goals. As an aspiring college professor, I want to ensure that Native American students have opportunities to exist, succeed, and feel safe in higher education spaces. My personal research will center Indigenous storytelling, survival, and resistance, thus preserving Lakota and Dakota songs, languages, and traditions for future generations. By foregrounding Native stories, traditions, and language, I hope to inspire generations of Native youth to challenge the ways non-Native people have (often inaccurately) written and documented Native peoples. Like Elouise Cobell, I hope to challenge these systems, which limit how Native people are seen in the present, to promote and inspire change. In addition, I believe that highlighting Indigenous voices and histories will create new collaborations between Native and non-Native communities.”

John says the Fellowship award will allow him “to begin additional research and conduct interviews with Lakota and Dakota Vietnam veterans. My dissertation examines Native American military service during the Vietnam War. More specifically, I analyze Lakota and Dakota motivations for military service as well as their experiences during and after Vietnam. I also examine how Native veterans confronted, challenged, and sometimes embraced ideas about race, masculinity, warrior culture, and stereotypical assumptions about Indian-ness.”

Congratulations, John!