Eleven year-old boxer Maria "Little Sioux" Moore (Wicahpi Numpa Win – Two Star Girl), member of the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe, first placed her fists in boxing gloves at the age of three.
Boxing is truly a family sport for her. Maria’s father, Ray Moore Sr., (Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe), has taught her and her siblings all he learned from his father, the late Ed Moore Sr.
“We know her Grandpa Ed is doing a jig in heaven,” Maria’s mom, Cynthia Monteau Moore (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe), said. “[He’s] looking down at Maria winning in the sport he loved!”
After training in the basement of her home in Helena, Montana, complete with heavy bags, double end bags, weights and a treadmill, Maria officially started competing at the age of eight.
“I am really proud of her hard work and dedication. She is very coachable, she has an excellent, excellent work ethic,” Maria’s mother beamed.
It is this drive that allows Maria to play other sports, such as soccer, softball and basketball, as well as to write and create art. When asked about how she feels about boxing and art, activities that seem to be on polar ends, Maria sweetly replies that in boxing you are “making art.”
With the passion of an artist and heart of a champion, Maria Moore won the State and Regional Silver Glove Championship and competed in the Ringside World Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri, from July 29th to August 3rd.
“I want her to grow up with confidence and grow to be a strong Indian woman,” Maria’s mother said. “My husband and I did a lot to give her this opportunity. That’s the big thing, giving our children opportunities, being there as a family and supporting them 110 percent, so they can achieve and be successful.”
Maria’s goal is to compete in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. “I see other girls doing it and I think I can do it too,” she said.