Sandra B. Little-Woodard, "Given the Breath of Life", was born November 20, 1942, in Oglala, S.D., to Thomas Little and Rebecca Blackbird. Sandra, 76, of Rapid City, made her journey to the Spirit World on October 13, 2019, in Rapid City, surrounded by loved ones.
Sandra “Sandy" Little-Woodard grew up in Oglala S.D and the He Sapa. She graduated high school in Hot Springs, S.D. Sandra graduated from Black Hills State University majoring in Education and went on to become a devoted educator. She taught on the Pine Ridge Reservation including Little Wound, Wolf Creek, Porcupine, and Loneman schools in addition to higher education. She was dedicated to educating, mentoring and inspiring Indigenous youth for over 30 years.
Sandra spent many years involved in civic engagement and advocacy throughout Indian Country. She was most passionate about work that included environmental justice, Indigenous civil rights, the rights of Indigenous Women and Children, and various community and social justice issues. Groups she had the privilege and honor to be apart of include: Defenders of the Black Hills, Clean Water Alliance, Rapid City Community Conversations: Circle of Elders, Teton Lakota Treaty Council, Red Ribbon Skirt Society (MMIW); and many more activist, grassroots, and community action groups in the He Sapa and surrounding areas.
Sandra enjoyed traveling, dancing, singing, community gatherings and spending time with all whom she loved dearly. In particular, she cherished time spent with her Takoja's (grandchildren) whom she took the most pride in. She was a life-long learner, fiercely passionate, humorous, intelligent, determined, kind and above all, generous. As a strong Lakota woman, she upheld traditional Lakota values and demonstrated this through her everyday actions. She was a mother, "Unci," auntie, friend, sister, and mentor to many.
Sandra is survived by her children: Shana and Ruben Contreras, Todd and Beth Gakin, Natalie and David Birmeier, Nicole and Derek Weston and Justin and Stephanie (Brave) Woodard; numerous beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren; sisters, Serena Little, Simone McDonald, and Elvirah “Babe” Yellow Thunder.
Preceded in death by her father Thomas Little and mother Rebecca Black Bird; sister, Andrea LaDeaux; brothers, Sterling Little, Dennis Little, and Brian Ghost; grandparents, Miles Little, Julia Sitting Bull, Frank Black Bird and Rosa King.
Wake Services: One night wake service starting at 3:00 PM, Sunday, October 20, 2019 at the Brother Rene Hall in Oglala, SD.
Funeral Services: 10:00 AM, Monday, October 21, 2019 at the Brother Rene Hall in Oglala, SD
Officiating: Rev. Robert Two Bulls and Rev. Twila Two Bulls
Traditional Lakota Services: Mr. Ty Lunderman
Graveside Services: St. Peter’s Episcopal Cemetery, Oglala, SD
Arrangements entrusted with Sioux Funeral Home of Pine Ridge, SD