Native American Rapper Inspires SBC Graduates

Aug 15th, 2010 | By | Category: 22-1: Native Activism, Fall 2010, Arts & Language, Tribal College News

Native American rapper and entrepreneur Litefoot gave the keynote address at the graduation ceremonies for Sitting Bull College (SBC, Fort Yates, ND) in May 2010, focusing on spirituality. “Pray, pray, pray, pray, pray,” he said.

“An education is important, but what you do with it is just as important,” Litefoot said. “But even more important than what you do with it is your spiritual relationship with the Creator.”

Litefoot began his professional singing career almost two decades ago, when there were no Native American rappers on the national scene. Since then, Litefoot has released over 20 albums nationwide and is currently collaborating on a joint music project between his own Red Vinyl Records and rap mogul Jay-Z’s ROC Nation record label.

He has appeared in several movies and television shows, including the lead role in “The Indian in the Cupboard.” Today, he is one of Indian Country’s most sought after public speakers. “It was an honor to have such a distinguished guest speaker who serves as a role model for our 2010 graduating class,” Vice President of Academics Koreen Ressler says. “He is an inspiration to our students and proof that dreams can come true and not to give up on oneself.”

A special highlight of the 2010 graduation ceremony was the presentation of honorary degrees to elders from the local area, including Elaine St. John of Kenel, SD, and John Eagle Shield, Sr., of Fort Yates, ND. St. John and Eagle Shield both received honorary degrees in general studies for their life-long commitment to education and service to the Standing Rock Reservation.

“These honorary degrees are a way for Sitting Bull College to provide recognition to deserving individuals who have served as role models and who have championed the important role education plays among the people living on the Standing Rock Reservation,” Ressler says.

Student enrollment at Sitting Bull College for the 2009-2010 academic season reached 320 students in the spring of 2010. The college offers seven accredited bachelor of science degree programs, 19 associate degree programs, and seven certificate programs. Established in 1971 under the name of Standing Rock Community College, the tribal college changed its name to Sitting Bull College in 1996.

For more information about Sitting Bull College, contact the Student Services Department at (701) 854-8000 or log on to

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