DSU Hosts ‘I Want To Live’ Speaker

Dakota State will host motivational speaker Arnold Thomas for two presentations, Tuesday, November 3. The first presentation will be at 12:30pm at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse and the second will be at 7:00pm in the Tunheim Classroom Building auditorium.

Thomas, a Native American from Salt Lake City, UT, has been traveling the United States, Canada, and Europe, giving motivational speeches since 1991. He once dreamed of playing professional sports, having been recognized as one of Nevada’s elite football and basketball players during high school. His father’s suicide when Thomas was a high school sophomore changed his life. After turning to alcohol and drugs, Thomas tried to kill himself with a gun. The shot left him blind, and severely damaged his face. Unable to speak for several years, Thomas used the support of his family, friends, his culture, and his community to rebuild his life. He now travels to schools and other public venues, telling his story and inspiring listeners with his message of “I Want to Live.”

The presentations are free and open to the public. Thomas is sponsored on the DSU campus by the Dakota State University Office of Alcohol and Other Drugs, the DSU Diversity Office, and the DSU Student Activities Board.

More information on Arnold Thomas can be found at his website http://www.whitebuffaloknife.com/i_want_to_live.html


Mr. Thomas has consulted nationally as well as inter-nationally with communities for the past 15 years. He is a dynamic motivational speaker and has a powerful message to share. Arnold has been involved in developing curriculum for substance abuse and suicide prevention and intervention programs on the local and national levels. He was a member of the National Institute of Health’s C-SAT (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment) work group. He assisted in creating cultural sensitive materials for the Indian Health services’ Emergency Medical Services for Children in Washington D.C. He also served as a spiritual advisor for Native American inmates incarcerated in the Utah State Correctional system. Arnold recently served as the project coordinator for the Circle of Hope through Volunteers of America where he worked with homeless Native Americans. Additionally, he is the spiritual advisor for inpatient substance abusers at the George E. Whalen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City.

Last Updated: 8/12/11