Biography, Awards, Recognitions and Achievements
One of the world’s most well known Native American public figures, Gary “Litefoot” Davis built his career by embracing his cultural heritage and building the “Litefoot” brand on his talents as a musician, performer and entrepreneur. He serves as a successful example of the possibilities that exist for anyone that believes in themselves, works hard and never quits until they accomplish their goals.
At an early age, Gary took after his grandfather and father before him and started his own business. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to starting his first business Red Vinyl Records and after just one year of working his plan, he emerged as the first Native American rap artist, releasing music, traveling the United States on tour and performing internationally.
His hard work caught the attention of Paramount Pictures which led him to landing his first starring role in the feature film, “The Indian In The Cupboard”. He has since starred in several more films and television shows. His accomplishments as a rap artist went on to garner him six Native American Music Awards including, Artist of the Year. Gary has sold tens of thousands of his own albums independently and performed thousands of concerts across North America.
Now, he runs Davis Strategy Group (DSG) with his wife Carmen Davis. DSG is an awesome new marketing, communications, media and business consulting firm. Along the way, Gary became a more prolific businessman, investing in other family owned and operated companies including Litefoot Enterprises, Native Style Clothing, and authoring and self-publishing his own book, The Medicine of Prayer.
Gary also serves as the Executive Director of the Native American Financial Services Association.
With more than 100,000 fans on social media, Gary shares his ongoing journey as an entrepreneur and celebrity via his daily, #FootNotes motivational videos. He also hosts his YouTube series “Litefoot’s Relentless Pursuit”, a vlog of Davis’ everyday business life and constant travel. “Relentless Pursuit gives viewers a front row seat into the hustle and bustle of my life and everything that goes along with it,” said Davis. “I believe the show will inspire and motivate viewers to relentlessly pursue their goals and aspirations.”
Davis also launched his own podcast, “The Litefoot Show” in April of 2017. Audio episodes of The Litefoot Show will be available wherever podcasts can be found, including iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Soundcloud.
Litefoot also returns to his musical roots with the release of his first studio album in 10 years, “Redvolutionary”. The album is expected to be released in 2018.
As a young boy, you could find Gary helping out the best he could with the family business. He cleaned up tools in his father’s auto shop, helped sweep the office and wash the cars at his dad’s car lot and even helped with construction clean up and “demo” work for his dad’s construction company. No matter what odd jobs he was doing for the family business, the most important things he was doing during those formative years was, “listening and observing”. He intently watched his father negotiate business deals and listened to the sales skills his father used to be able to turn a “no” into a “yes”. He was acquiring the tools and skills that he would use himself many years later on his road to becoming a successful businessman and leader.
In his early teens, Gary’s father had tried to help a family member and while out of town on the family’s first ever extended vacation, that family member, in a matter of days, made business decisions that would bring the family’s business crumbling down. This changed everything for Gary and his family. They lost everything. Gary had to drop out of high school and got a job to help the family. It was a character building time for him and not without a constant barrage of difficulties. A year later, Gary got back into school but the family’s hardships led to his mother and father divorcing and in a short window of time he lost both of his grandparents. He had learned the value of hard work and perseverance and was bound and determined to not let his family down and to make something of his life. The next summer, Gary had talked with a friend and learned how much money he was making mowing lawns after school, on the weekends and over the summer. Gary decided to start his own lawn mowing business and would drive all over Tulsa, knocking on doors of houses who had grass that had grown tall and needed to be cut. He was soon able to buy all of his own equipment, set his own hours and soon began to realize that the money he made from mowing yards and owning his own business was much greater than any job that required him to punch a clock and receive a minimum hourly wage. The entrepreneurial spirit had taken hold in Gary.
RED VINYL RECORDS
FROM MUSIC TO MOVIES
MORE MOVIES...MUSIC AND MARRIAGE.
MORE MUSIC, FASHION AND AN UNPRCEDENTED MOTIVATIONAL TOUR
RELENTLESS PURSUIT AND ADVANCEMENTS IN BUSINESS
FINANCIAL SERVICES, DAVIS STRATEGY GROUP AND HIP HOP
In late 2016 Gary and his wife Carmen started their newest company, Davis Strategy Group (DSG). DSG provides marketing, branding, communications and event consulting services to its clients. DSG also works with a select list of clients focused on growing business and economic opportunity in Indian Country.
In 2016 Davis was also back in front of the camera regularly releasing digital content in a variety of formats. He debuted his new YouTube series “Litefoot’s Relentless Pursuit” on Friday September 30, 2016. Litefoot’s Relentless Pursuit is a vlog of Davis’ everyday business life and constant travel. “Relentless Pursuit gives viewers a front row seat into the hustle and bustle of my life and everything that goes along with it,” said Davis. “I believe the show will inspire and motivate viewers to relentlessly pursue their goals and aspirations.”
Davis also has his own weekly podcast, “The Litefoot Show” and features his wife Carmen as his co-host. “For over 20 years I have had the pleasure of speaking in countless Tribal communities and at conferences in many other countries. Podcasts are a rapidly growing medium and an excellent way for me to directly express my views, interact with listeners and engage with Indian Country and the world,“ said Davis. “The show is fun, informative and entertaining. Carmen and I have a lot of fun every episode and people are really responding to the format.” Audio episodes of the Litefoot Show are available via iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Soundcloud, and wherever podcasts can be found. Videocasts of The Litefoot Show are also available at: YouTube.com/litefoot
In 2017, Davis also began an inspirational daily video series called “Footnotes” which are short motivational and informative video recordings available via Davis’ Facebook.com/litefoot page, Youtube.com/litefoot channel and online at litefoot.com.
Litefoot returns to his musical roots with the release of his first studio album in 10 years, “Redvolutionary”. The album is expected to be released in 2018.
Mr. Davis continues to provide motivational speeches across North America inspiring and motivating audiences of all ages. The Davis’ have added two more children, Sequoyah and Qwnuseia, to their family.
For over two decades, Mr. Davis has meshed his success as an entrepreneur, with his passion to better the future of Indian Country – in the hopes that his life and accomplishments will serve as a source of inspiration for others.
- 2015 Recipient of the United States Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency’s National Director of the Year Award
- 2015 Minority Business News USA Champion in honor of unwavering commitment to supplier diversity
- Selected as one of the, “Fifty Faces of Indian Country” by Indian Country Today Media Network – 2015
- 2014 Recipient of the Cherokee Nation Historical Society’s Seven Star Award for accomplishments in music, acting and business
- Recipient of the American Indian Business Leaders Entrepreneurship Award – 1995
- Oversight Hearing of the United States Senate Indian Affairs Committee, “Indian Country Priorities for the 114th Congress” – January 28, 2015
- Oversight Hearing of the United States Senate Indian Affairs Committee, “Economic Development: Encouraging Investment in Indian Country” – June 25, 2014
- Appointed by Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration to the Council on Underserved Communities – May 23, 2016
- Appointed by Dr. Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of Energy, as an Ambassador of the Department of Energy’s, Minorities In Energy initiative – 2015
INTERNATIONAL DELEGATIONS & OUTREACH
- Accompanied the U.S. Department of Commerce, and its Minority Business Development Agency, as part of the official U.S. Delegation to Hannover Messe 2016, the world’s Largest trade fair for industrial technology- April 25-29, 2016 in Hannover, Germany.
- World Indigenous Business Forum, Featured Keynote speaker – October 29-30, 2014 in Guatemala City, Guatemala
AWARDS – Film and Music
First Americans in the Arts – Outstanding Performance (Indian in the Cupboard) 1995
American Indian Film Institute – Best Actor (Indian in the Cupboard) 1996
First Americans in the Arts – Outstanding Performance (Kull the Conqueror) 1997
Native American Music Awards- Best Rap Album (Good Day To Die) 1998
Native American Music Awards- Best Rap/Hip Hop Album (The Life & Times) 1999
Native American Music Awards- Best Rap/Hip Hop Album (Rez Affiliated) 2000
Native American Music Awards- Best Rap/Hip Hop Album (Tribal Boogie) 2002
Native American Music Awards- Best Male Artist (The Messenger) 2003
Native American Music Awards- Artist of The Year (Native American Me) 2004
Indian Summer Music Awards – Best Rap Album (Native American Me) 2004
Indian Summer Music Awards – Best Rap Album (Redvolution) 2005
BIOGRAPHY Gary “Litefoot” Davis is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. For over two decades, he’s meshed his talents as an artist and entrepreneur with his passion to better the future of Indian Country. His music, tours, films, books and entrepreneurial accomplishments have served as sources of inspiration for people around the world. He is currently the Executive Director of the Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA), the Publisher of Native Business™ Magazine, CEO of Davis Strategy Group and a member of the Forbes Finance Council.
Mr. Davis began his musical career in 1991 as the first Native American Rap artist by recording and releasing his music on his Red Vinyl Records recording label. He has performed thousands of concerts across North America, toured internationally and released 11 award winning albums. His music has appeared in several major motion pictures and television programs and has received “Album of the Year” and “Artist of the Year” honors from the Native American Music Awards.
Gary, and his wife Carmen, recently launched, Native Business™, a multimedia company aimed at promoting and advancing Native American business, entrepreneurship and economic development. Native Business publishes both digital and print publications, produces weekly video content, produces a podcast and, beginning in May of 2019, the husband and wife team will present the Native Business Summit.
The husband and wife team also own Davis Strategy Group, which specializes in providing business consulting services to a select group of clients, and are the proud owners of the Native Style™ Clothing brand.
His award winning acting career began by landing the starring role in the film, Indian in the Cupboard, and he has since appeared in thirteen different films and television programs. He has starred in films such as Mortal Kombat Annihilation and Adaptation, as well as television shows including CSI: Miami and House of Cards. Davis also has a weekly podcast, “The Litefoot Show”, an inspirational video series entitled, “Footnotes” as wella as a YouTube series, “Litefoot’s Relentless Pursuit” chronicling Davis’ everyday business life and constant travel.
Before being appointed as the Executive Director of NAFSA, Mr. Davis served as President and CEO of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) and as a member of the NCAIED’s Board of Directors. He has served as Vice-President of Native Affairs for the Triple Five Group, owners of the world’s largest retail shopping malls; the Mall of America and the West Edmonton Mall and he previously served as co-chair of the National Indian Gaming Association’s, American Indian Business Network.
Mr. Davis has traveled hundreds of thousands of miles throughout the United States and Canada bringing hope and empowerment to tribal communities across North America. He continues to motivate and inspire, tribal, educational and corporate audiences as a highly sought after public speaker.
Mr. Davis is a recipient of the prestigious Sevenstar Award from the Cherokee Nation Historical Society, presented to a Cherokee who is accomplished in a chosen field, brought honor to the Cherokee people and serves as an inspiration to others. He has received the Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency National Director Special Recognition Award, was appointed as an Ambassador of the Department of Energy’s, Minorities in Energy initiative and was also appointed to the United States Small Business Administration’s Council on Underserved Communities. Mr. Davis was recognized as one of the “Fifty Faces of Indian Country” by Indian Country Today Media Network.
Mr. Davis is currently working on a new Litefoot album and a book which explores and expounds upon the conscious lyrics found in so many of his songs. Both projects are slated for release in 2019.
- The Medicine of Prayer
- 1992 – The Money E.P.
- 1993 – Native Tongue
- 1994 – Seein’ Red
- 1996 – Good Day To Die
- 1998 – The Clown Kutz
- 1998 – The Life & Times
- 1998 – Red Ryders Vol.1
- 1999 – Red Ryders Vol. 2
- 1999 – Rez Affiliated
- 1999 – The Lite Years
- 1989–1999 – The Best of Mr. Foot
- 2001 – Tribal Boogie
- 2002 – The Messenger
- 2003 – Native American Me
- 2004 – Redvolution
- 2008 – Relentless Pursuit
- 2018 – Redvolutionary
|The Indian in the Cupboard||Little Bear/Lead Actor||Paramount Pictures/Frank Oz|
|Mortal Kombat Annihilation||Nightwolf/Lead Actor||New Line Cinema/Jon Leonetti|
|Kull the Conqueror||Ascalante/Lead Actor||Universal Pictures/John Nicollela|
|Adaptation||Russell/Supporting Actor||Columbia Pictures/Spike Jonez|
|29 Palms||Warrior #1/Lead Actor||Artisan/Leonardo Ricagni|
|The Song of Hiawatha||Hiawatha/Lead Actor||Hallmark Entertainment/Jeff Shore|
|The Pearl||Juan Tomas/Lead Actor||Independent/Alfredo Zacharias|
|The Picture of Priority||Angel Whitecloud/Lead Actor||Independent/Mick Mapelli|
|House of Cards/Season 2 Ep. 8||BIA Asst. Secretary Michael Frost||Netflix/James Foley|
|Any Day Now/No More, Forever||Charley Majors/Lead Actor||Lifetime Network/Tom McLoughlin|
|Family Law/Americans||John Grant/Lead Actor||CBS/Elodie Keen|
|Any Day Now/The Real Thing||Charley Majors/Lead Actor||Lifetime Network/Tom McLoughlin|
|CSI: Miami/Slow Burn||Card Dealer/Supporting Actor||CBS/Joe Chappelle|