World-renowned flutist and hoop dancer of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe died
PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Kevin Locke, Hunkpapa Lakota of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and a world-renowned flute player, hoop dancer, recording artist, cultural ambassador, and educator, passed away on Friday.
Kevin Locke performed in more than 90 countries at art centers, schools, universities, state and national parks, monuments, and powwows.
Locke’s son Ohiyesá told Associated Press reporter, Gretchen Ehlke, that his father had been performing at the Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills and suffered a fatal asthma attack in his hotel room on Friday.
“Bryon and I are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Kevin Locke, who was a vibrant voice of South Dakota arts,” said Noem. “Mr. Locke made many contributions to preserving and proudly displaying Lakota culture, arts, and history throughout the world. He received numerous impressive awards for his work in the arts, including the National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1990 and an Artist Fellowship from the South Dakota Arts Council, the state arts agency’s highest honor for individuals, in 2020.”
Locke also helped support a bill that honors Native American instruments.
“During the 2022 legislative session, Mr. Locke was our honored guest cultural performer for the State-Tribal Relations Capitol Rotunda event,” continued Noem. “Mr. Locke also provided support testimony to HB 1196, which recognized the native flute as the state’s official indigenous instrument. Thanks in part to Mr. Locke, that bill was passed, and I signed it into law.”
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