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Artist Spotlight – Braiden “Bright Spirit” Gould

Artist Spotlight – Braiden “Bright Spirit” Gould

Tribal Affiliation(s):

Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape (Enrolled)


Dance Styles: Northern Traditional, Grass
Drumming and Singing: Southern Style
Drum Making: Pow-Wow, Ceremonial, Handdrum
Bone Jewelry: Chokers, Breastplates

Education & Career:

Woodstown High School, Woodstown NJ (Current)
Lenapehoking Reestablishment Project – Jr. Executive
Party Shell – Jr. Executive

Aspires to be / work with: Athletic Sports Medicine/ Physical Therapy

Committees/Community Services:

  • Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribe
    • New Dawn Youth Council Council Liaison
    • Unity Conference 2023 NLL Male Representative
  • Woodstown HS Sports
    • Stats (8/22/2023)
      • Height: 5′ 11.5″
      • Weight: 295 lbs
      • Record(s):
        • WHS Deadlift School Record 2022: 605 lbs
        • WHS 1200 LB Club
    • Football – Varsity Starter
      • O-Line
      • D-Line
    • Wrestling – Varsity
      • Heavyweight
    • Lacrosse
      • Primarily Defense

Written Biography:

Braiden “Bright Spirit” Gould-Rugenus is a member of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribe in South Jersey. He is the grandson of former Chief Mark “Quiet Hawk” Gould & the late Gail “Gentle Leaves” Gould, and the son of Lia “Watching Sparrow” Gould, and step-son of Ty “Dancing Wolf” Ellis.

Braiden is entering his Junior year in High School. While juggling his responsibilities of school and High School sports, Braiden remains very active within his tribal community. He serves as a voice of the tribal youth, acting as the youngest Tribal Youth Council Liaison, tasked with being the bridge between the Tribal Government and the indigenous youth of the tribe. He has been raised in this way of life his entire life. He has spent many summers with his Grandmother, helping at food pantries and volunteering his help, time, and muscle whenever possible. This earned him awards and grants that were aimed for recipients with leadership qualities and an apparent passion to help the community.

Braiden has recently expressed his interest in teaching younger youth some of our ways, such as singing, dancing, social styles, and just how to conduct yourself as a tribal ila (warrior). He has also put his mind to following his passion to entering a college to earn a degree in Athletic Training / Physical Therapy.

He makes his family and his people proud.

Social Media & Websites:

Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/BarneyRapper

Photo Gallery:

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