Ron His Horse Is Thunder

Ron His Horse Is Thunder

Former President


Sitting Bull College

Fort Yates, ND USA


Don’t wait to find the passion before you start an education. Start your education, then you’ll find the passion.

Videos

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Ron His Horse Is Thunder

Highlight
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01:17
Ron His Horse Is Thunder HighlightInterview Highlight
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07:05
InterviewThe Interview
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03:05
My Passion For Civil RightsWeb Exclusive
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02:16
Overcoming The Community College StigmaWeb Exclusive
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02:54
Dealing With Racism As A Native AmericanWeb Exclusive
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01:43
Home Is Always On The ReservationWeb Exclusive
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03:51
My Career PathInterview Excerpt
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01:32
It Doesn't Matter Where You Start, Just StartInterview Excerpt
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01:26
We Were Told We Weren't Meant For CollegeInterview Excerpt
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Milestones

Milestones

My road in life has been direct.
Born and raised in Hempstead, NY, to parents who were civil rights activists for Native Americans in South Dakota—credits this upbringing with instilling in him his passion for social justice.
He is the great-great grandson of One Bull (the nephew and adopted son of Sitting Bull), is a member of the Hunkpapa Lakota, and is the former chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Says his life’s goal has always been to get his law degree, become tribal chairman, and “walk the good red road” by serving his people.
Decided to leave his home state of New York and move to his peoples’ tribal reservation lands in South Dakota to start working.
Initially couldn’t get financial aid for college, so he spent the next few years working a minimum-wage job at Sitting Bull College and going to school one semester at a time so he could afford it.
He was eventually able to qualify for financial aid and went on to earn his Bachelor of Science degree from Black Hills State University and his law degree from the University of South Dakota.
Has served as president of Sitting Bull College and the American Indian College Fund—in 2002, became Chairman of the President's Board of Advisors on Tribal Colleges and Universities.
Prominent leader in the #NoDAPL movement on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, battling to protect water resources, sacred sites, and tribal sovereignty.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
associates
Associate's Degree
Sitting Bull College
undergrad
Bachelor
Political Science and Government, General
Black Hills State University
doctorate
Doctorate
Law
University of South Dakota
Career

Career

Former President

I am an educator, lawyer, social activist, and advocate for Native American rights and culture.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Education
Education
Non-Profit Organizations
Non-Profit Organizations
Upholding a Cause and Belief
Upholding a Cause and Belief

Day to Day

I spend every day trying to walk the good red road and serve my people in whatever way that is needed.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

My law experience has definitely benefitted me in terms of advocating for different causes effectively, but ultimately you just have to have passion and believe in yourself and your cause.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Do volunteer work, it broadens your contact base, shows potential funding agencies your willingness to look beyond yourself and your ability to work with others for the betterment of your community.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

certification
Associate's Degree
undergrad
Bachelor
Political Science and Government, General
doctorate
Doctorate
Law
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"Indians are good with their hands, they aren't meant for college. You should just get a high school education and go to work. "

Don't be a victim. I chose not to listen to them. I learned to walk with pride and a sense of purpose. Walk straight ahead and with confidence. My work as a college president has enabled me to challenge this idea first hand and empower my people to know that they too deserve an education.

Challenges I Overcame

Financial
Financial

I learned to always have a job no matter the type of work or pay, and establish goals for savings (tuition payments).

First-Generation College Student
First-Generation College Student

Stayed out of college at first because no one could advise me on how to fill out all the financial aid forms, but I figured it out.

Racial Discrimination
Racial Discrimination

I learned to be proud of where I came from, and carry myself with confidence.