Sitting Bull Descendent In Gladewater - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/6/07-Longview

Sitting Bull Descendent In Gladewater

       One of the contestants at a rodeo in Gladewater tonight is much more than just a contestant,  he's the descendent in a rich heritage of native American history. As preps for the real cowboys association rodeo were made at Gladewater rodeo arena, one cowboy has much more to talk about than rodeo. 56 year old Arby Littlesoldier has a story to tell. He's a direct descendant of Tananka Iyotanka. But we know him by another name.

    "My great great grandfather was Sitting Bull" says Littlesoldier.

    And Sitting Bull had two sons who had a connection general George Armstrong Custer.

    "And his son's were named soldier and little Sioux, and both were scouts for Custer" says Arby.

      Raised on a north Dakota reservation, what usually strikes up conversation is his name.   In sitting bulls day , native Americans didn't have last names.   Littlesoldier's is derived from what soldiers called one of his relatives.

  "As army guys usually do they give you nicknames, and his nickname was little soldier. And a captain heard it and wrote it down. And it stuck with us all these years" he says.

    It's been the family name ever since. He finds himself educating people now, who native Americans really were, and how history paints an incorrect picture.

   "They say well the native American was a savage a wild man, no we were not".

  A member of his family has fought every war for this country since the Indian wars.

  "It was in my heart to fight for this country so I ended up fighting in Vietnam" Arby says.

  He passes on his history to his children, hoping it will never be lost. Bob Hallmark/bhallmark@kltv.com.

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