Joseph Gazing Wolf
Joseph Gazing Wolf spent the first ten years of his life as an Amazigh shepherd in the Nile Valley of Upper Egypt/Lower Nubia with his mother's tribe, the Badari people. When his parents relocated to Standing Rock, the home of his Lakota father, Joseph worked as a ranch hand, horse trainer, and range rider. His parent's ranch was a place where members of vulnerable communities—women victims of domestic violence, children or elders experience abuse, and animals experiencing neglect—could come and find a safe place with plenty of love and compassion. Because of his parent's work, Joseph became conscious, at an early age, of the effects of colonialism on Indian communities. In particular, he began to understand how the history of land theft and the exploitation that followed impacted Indigenous ways of knowing and the place and status of women. The rest of his story entails persistent efforts to decolonize Indigenous ways and to Indigenize colonial ways. As a student of Indigenous and western sciences, Joseph now works to understand how land tenure security, gender equity, and education interact to contribute to social-ecological resilience and biocultural restoration in Tribal communities. He works with Tribal Nations in the Americas and Africa, his two homelands.