Joshua Sumi, son of late Rev. A Shihoto, of Lazami Village in Pughoboto Constituency was born on August 27, 1959. A member of the Sumi Naga tribe he passed matriculation from the Baptist English School, Kohima in 1975 and later graduated in Arts from the Kohima Arts College in 1980.
Sumi, later went on to complete post graduation in English literature from NEHU, Shillong Campus in 1983. During his student days he was an active leader and held the post of Cultural and Literary Secretary during 1976-77 and Cultural Secretary, Southern Sema Students' Union during 1978-80. He became the organising secretary of Sema Students' Union during 1979-81 and was an Action Committee member of the Naga Students' Union between 1981-82.
He went on to becom the convenor of Naga Post-Graduate Co-ordination Committee, Shillong in 1982-83 and the President of Sumi Students' Union, 1983-85 and the Senior Advisor, Sema Students' Union 1985-87.
He started his carreer as an LDA in Nagaland Civil Secretariat, 1979 and later became a Teacher in Kohima English School, 1980 and was promoted Supervisor, Adult Education 1981. He joined the Indian National Congress (I) Party and was elected as Joint Secretary DCC (I) Kohima in 1985. He was elected to the state assembly in 1987 and was made Chairman of Nagaland Industrial Development Corporation (NIDC) the same year. He was re-elected in August 1988 as NPC candiadate and was sworn-in a minister in 1990. He resigned and contested the 1993 elections as an independent candidate. He was elected unopposed as Congress (I) candidate from the same constituency on a Congress ticket in 1998 and was later elected as deputy speaker of the state assembly.