Former NFL Player, Native Speaker, Levi Horn to Present at Local Schools
By Joe Morey
Former Chicago Bear and Minnesota Viking football player, and Northern Cheyenne Tribal Member, Levi Horn, will be speaking at several school locations on Monday and Tuesday. Horn is a Native American motivational speaker focusing on inspiring Native youth to overcome their hardships.
Horn will begin his local speaking tour at the Hayward Middle School Monday, January 30th from 9 am-11:30am, the Hayward High School from 1 pm-3:30 pm. On Tuesday, January 31st, he will be at the LCO Ojibwe School from 9 am-11:30 am, and Winter School from 1 pm-3:30 pm.
“I started my football career in high school and became an All State tight end my senior year for Rogers High School in Spokane, WA. I received a scholarship to play at the University of Oregon,” Horn states. “I was not ready for this first year of college and transferred to the University of Montana where my mentors and coaches helped me attain All-American status by my senior year and my shot at the NFL.”
This brought him to the attention of Mike Tice of the Chicago Bears. He signed with the Bears as an undrafted free agent and was on the practice squad and was then activated to the 53-man roster. After two years there, he was signed with the Minnesota Vikings.
Levi also played in the Canadian Football League with the BC Lions, in the AFL with the Spokane Shock and LA Kiss and the New Mexico Stars.
Levi states on his website, “As Native Americans have always known, words have power and I spread hope through the power of positivity. I first shared when I was six years old that I wanted to play in the NFL and was laughed at. I look to empower our youth to set a dream and shoot for it. We must not perceive failure as a negative, but a lesson learned in our journey.”
Throughout Levi’s career, his second passion has been to inspire Native youth, to show them no matter your background, you can achieve your dreams.
“I started telling my story over ten years ago in college to help inspire Native Youth to reach for their dreams. I have developed my workshops after reflecting on the question, ‘Why are there not more Native athletes?’ I combined simple ideas with Dialectical Behavioral coping skills I have learned while being a licensed drug and alcohol counselor.
“I have overcome many obstacles in my life to achieve my dream of being in the NFL. I am one of the very few Native Americans, Northern Cheyenne, to achieve that status. With that being accomplished, I found my second calling of helping at-risk youth to guide them on their journey. I enjoy speaking and running sports clinics on reservations around North America. I have developed my workshops by combining simple ideas with Dialectical Behavioral coping skills I have learned while being a licensed drug and alcohol counselor.”
In addition to Northern Cheyenne, Horn is affiliated with Arikara and Blackfoot Tribes.
Horn explains that throughout his career and practice he learned to catch the successes and not harbor the negativity throughout failures.
“We can change our perception of these events with skills and the practice of mindfulness. When we come from traumatic backgrounds, we sometimes are not taught the social skills needed to maneuver this world.”
The schools would like to thank the Bizhiki Wellness Center, the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe, and the Johnson-O'Malley program for providing this opportunity for students by sponsoring Levi. Special thanks to Rose Wilson (LCO's Grant Director), Lorraine Gouge (Vice Chairperson), Brent Belisle from the Bizhiki Wellness Center and Amanda Scheel who all played a big part by collaborating with area schools, securing funding, and completing the paperwork to bring him to our area to speak.