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Artist Spotlight – Lia “Watching Sparrow” Gould

Artist Spotlight – Lia “Watching Sparrow” Gould

Tribal Affiliation(s):

Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape (Enrolled)


Dance Styles: Southern Traditional, Jingle Dress, Fancy Shawl
Back Up Singing: Southern Style
Beadwork: Free-form, Loom
Bone Jewelry: Chokers, Breastplates

Education & Career:

Salem High School, Salem NJ
Cumberland County College, Vineland, NJ (Rowan) – Registered Nurse
Inclusive Care Department Case Manager
Lenapehoking Reestablishment Project – Co-Founder
Party Shell – Co-Founder

Committees/Community Services:

  • Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribe
    • New Dawn Youth Council Chaperone/Advocate
    • Health & Welness Committee
    • Ceremonial Committee
    • Little Acorns Youth Coordinator (Indigenous Youth 5 – 12)

Written Biography:

Lia “Watching Sparrow” Gould is the youngest daughter of former Chief Mark “Quiet Hawk” Gould, who has been reigning Chief for about 35 years of the last 40+ years of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribe’s official reformation as an entity in the eyes of the Government. Though she has sisters, they were already fully grown adults by the time she was born, so she was raised as an only child. So, in her youth, she often shadowed her father during his political lectures, delegations, and public outreach efforts. This included learning how to properly communicate between our nation and others.

Just as a child, Lia was tasked with many responsibilities that many her age had never even thought of. Some of these tasks included being aware of the public eye in appropriate settings, such as when she had the opportunity to dance along side the Princess of Sweden. At a very young age, she was also ordained by the Tribal Spiritual Leader as a Jingle Dress Dancer. This dance style is what’s known to Indigenous People as a healing dance. Since her youth, Lia knew that she would be destined to be a healer.

And so she did, as she had become a nurse, and aspires to some day go beyond that. Within her career, she advocates for the LGBTQ+ & Two-Spirited community as a case manager of an Inclusive Care department, focusing on assisting this community with gender affirmation journeys and providing a voice for them when they do not know what routes to take. Within her community, she continues to focus on what is most important to her; the well-being of her people and her culture. She walks the line between ceremonial/traditional medicines and modern/Western medicines. She understands the importance of trust when is comes to the care of our elders; a community who has been wronged in the past, and is often hesitant in trusting medical professionals that they do not know. She combats that by advocating and remaining a resource for our people who need clarification or assistance understanding what their primary care providers are suggesting.

Aside from being an amazing mother of 4, children who are all heavily involved within their community and their culture, Lia also takes pride in focusing primarily on the Indigenous Youth of her community. She spends a lot of her time coordinating events and compiling resources for all the children of the tribe, and does her part by creating opportunities for the youth to come back to these lands and be around their people.

Her passion makes her a superhero…

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