Frank Waln, an award-winning Sicangu Lakota hip hop artist and music producer, will be the keynote speaker for East Stroudsburg University’s virtual Native American Heritage Month celebration at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
The event is open to the general public at no cost. To join, visit https://esu-online.zoom.us/j/92491709878.
Waln’s work with Lakota music began when, as a teenager, he was determined to produce and record music while living on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. He later earned a full scholarship from Columbia College in Chicago and earned a bachelor’s degree in audio arts and acoustics.
According to Waln, to be a Lakota means to be a good relative. As a Lakota artist, he uses his art to encourage others to be better relatives – to one another and to the land, water and ourselves.
Waln has earned a number of Native American Music Awards including: the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development 2014 Native American 40 Under 40; the 2014 Chicago Mayor’s Award for Civic Engagement; and, the 2016 3Arts Grant for Chicago Artists. He has been featured in Buzzfeed, The Fader, Playboy, Vibe, NPR, ESPN, and MTV’s Rebel Music Native America and has written for various publications including, Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education, and Society; and The Guardian.
Waln now makes a career sharing his music and his story with communities. He hopes to inspire Indigenous people around the world, and to share his knowledge about how settler colonialism has affected survivors of genocide.
For more information about this event or other Native American Heritage Month initiatives at ESU, contact Lyesha Fleming, director of ESU’s Center for Multicultural Affairs and Inclusive Education, at 570-422-3896 or firstname.lastname@example.org.