Daniel Long Soldier was born near Potato Creek on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Long Soldier’s family lived on a ranch near Rushville, NE, during most of his school years. He attended a reservation boarding school and was separated from his family most of the school year. Despite the long periods of separation, Long Soldier developed a profound understanding of his people’s ways through the living example of his family.
Long Soldier discovered his talent for drawing in his first years of school. By the 5th grade, he was mainly painting murals in tempera for school projects. He started working with pencil, then pencil, and watercolor. Today, he also works with pen-and-ink, charcoal, acrylic, and gouache. Long Soldier prefers acrylic.
An entirely self-taught artist, Long Soldier works only with the materials of his own imagination. His work usually communicates a story about the ways and spiritual traditions of his people. A nephew of well-known Sioux artist Andrew Standing Soldier, Long Soldier learned to understand his culture from stories from his uncles, grandfathers, and father.
Deeply rooted in the Lakota culture’s spirituality, Long Soldier feels his talent is a gift from the Great Spirit.
Long Soldier feels he must accomplish something with this talent during his lifetime to ensure a good journey into the other world.
Long Soldier’s work has been exhibited at many art shows throughout the United States, at the US Embassy in Barbados, and in West Germany. He is a member of the National Western Artists’ Associations and the National Cowboy and Indian Artist Association. His work can be found in private and public collections throughout the US, including the Atká Lakota Museum at St. Joseph’s Indian School.