Tȟokéya Inážiŋ- Kevin Locke
Kevin Locke, Tȟokéya Inážiŋ--meaning "The First to Arise”-- is Lakota (Hunkpapa band) and Anishinaabe. Kevin is a preeminent player of the Native American flute, traditional storyteller, cultural ambassador, recording artist, educator, fluent Lakota language and sign language speaker, and member of the Baha’i Faith. Kevin is most known for the Hoop Dance, the Hoop of Life, a prayer for the unification of all humankind.
Kevin started his career as an educator, having received a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of South Dakota. In 1980, Kevin accepted the invitation to serve as a cultural ambassador for the United States Information Service. Since then, Locke has traveled to almost 100 countries and continues to perform both nationally and internationally. Whether performing the flute or Hoop Dance, he emphasizes universal themes, such as the universality of the human spirit and its inclination towards peace, balance and harmony.
His honors include serving as a delegate to the Earth Summit in Brazil and as a featured performer and speaker at the Kennedy Center and the United Nations Habitat II Conference in Turkey. Among his awards are a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Bush Foundation Award and a Native American Music Album of the Year award for “Earth Gift,” one of his numerous albums. Mr. Locke also serves on the advisory board of the World Flute Society.
Even though he has performed in many prestigious venues to dignitaries such as Nelson Mandela and Dalai Lama, his favorite audiences are children and youth. Kevin finds tremendous value and satisfaction in utilizing traditional folk arts to nurture the full potential of young people, empowering them to realize their innate nobility and arise to advance humanity through a recognition of the oneness of humanity, transformation and service.
In 2018, Kevin Locke founded the Patricia Locke Foundation named after his late mother to provide the structure to carry on her legacy. Patricia Locke’s commitment to social justice was aligned with her deep desire for the inhabitants of the earth to achieve true and lasting justice. She had come to believe that this kind of lasting justice could only be realized with a spiritual foundation. Kevin Locke is enthusiastic to work with collaborators to develop the Patricia Locke Foundation to extend the legacy of his mom for the advancement and empowerment of future generations.
Yuxgitsiy - George Holly Jr.
Yuxgitsiy, George Holly, is a Deg Xit’an storyteller, songster, artist and educator. He grew up on the Kahtnu River In Yaghanen “the Good Land” the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Twenty-five years ago, he began composing music in his language, with express encouragement from his elders and whose words carry him through, “You must give from what you’ve been given.”
George performs, both professionally and as a personal vocation, on the stage and in schools, in homes, on beaches, at culture camps and in other lands. He desires to share the essential and what’s true; to support the Alaska Native language revitalization movement; and to uphold the happiness, inner strength, capacities, and sense of possibility and wonder of children and youth.
George’s music, composed not only in his own language but also the local language of places he has lived, are sung in schools, theatres, and by dance groups and friends, in villages and cities all over Alaska. He is a Rasmuson Artist Fellow. He is happiest when he has many friends around his table, sharing food by the river and supporting the magic of others’ life services and wellness.
He loves long drives in his van through the open Alaskan countryside, sings regularly at the local Dena’ina Wellness Center, hosts language gatherings at his home and is the proud friend of his bichon frisé, Timotay, who is himself the raggedy image of joy.
George became close to the life story of Patricia Locke nearly 20 years go when he attended a Bahà’i Institute training in Standing Rock, South Dakota for the Indigenous Bahà’is of North America that her son, Kevin, held in her name and honor. There, by a line of cypress or cedar, during the prehours of a gathering storm, George first sang a song that he felt was being sung to him from the other side; this divine inspiration would give him strength for a service rooted in hope. It begins, “Lift up your hearts above the present and look with eyes of faith into the future. Today the seed is sewn, the grain falls upon the earth, but behold the day shall come when shall rise a glorious tree and the branches thereof shall be laden with fruit...”. He thanks the spirit of that Good Woman of Compassion for the melody and sense of connectedness to the past, present and destiny of Native people and their highest aspirations to contribute to the betterment of the world.
Marylou Miller is Tlingit of the lineage of Chief George Kyan of Ketchikan, Alaska, and a member of the Eagle Moiety, Brown Bear clan from Tongass Village.
Adopted at a young age, she grew up in a nonnative home in Haines, Alaska. Marylou’s parents encouraged her to explore the traditions, arts and experiences of the Tlingit and other tribal communities. Her knowledge and attraction expanded beyond Haines to Juneau. She frequented the museum, viewed local native artwork and heard stories shared by Native elders.
Marylou realized the magnetic qualities of music and the arts through continued exposure to Indigenous arts and culture and the opportunities her musical family provided to attend plays, orchestras, operas and other artistic events. She has performed on stage with Red Grammer and “Drums of Light,” a group from Juneau, and continues to enjoy drumming and singing.
After growing up in Alaska, Marylou spent many years in Mesa, Arizona, and currently resides in Ohio near her two sons and three grandchildren.
She has a degree in Managerial Accounting and believes that working with the board of directors for the Patricia Locke Foundation will allow her to support and advocate her love of the arts.
Max Defender Jr.
Max Defender (Chippewa) is a family man, traditional singer and culture bearer. He serves as vice chairman of the Turtle Mountain Heritage Center and works as the director of operations for the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians Waste Management Division. They have a newly opened recycling center for cardboard, iron, glass and plastics. He describes himself as a common man raised on the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation in North Dakota.
Max Defender has been involved with Turtle Mountain Sundance, sharing traditional arts and singing for over 40 years.
His mission is to promote traditional arts at a grassroots level with community members– youth and elders–and to serve and inspire, one heart at a time.
A third generation Baha’i, Max embraces the gift of traditional stories and a new vision that extends beyond his Ojibwe roots to a global perspective and purpose, that of regarding the earth as one homeland and all people as its citizens. His elder Frances Cree encouraged him to follow what the prophets taught: to live in faith, extending love, unity and respect to all.
Supporting the mission of the Patricia Locke Foundation is another expression of his desire to establish justice and unity in the world. Providing traditional Indigenous arts and other services to children and youth in underserved communities is a way to find the uncelebrated, modest future leaders who are the future beacons of light that will continue to transform and heal our world.
I am a part of the Patricia Locke Foundation Board because I met Kevin and his mother in the early 80's. I served as an Auxilary Board Member of the Baha'i Faith with Kevin in the 90's. My father's family who all became Baha'is in the 40's were members of the White Earth Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. My father's family were also on the first Baha'i Assembly for St. Paul, MN. Patricia was also a member of the same Mississippi Band of Chippewas. (Ojibwa, most correctly Anishinaabe) Our families have known of each other since Kevin and his mother became Baha'is.
I have lived on Standing Rock for about 12 years. I work at the Standing Rock Community School as a Substitute Teacher and Para-Professional. I also serve on the McLaughlin Local Spiritual Assembly. I served on the first Northern Plains Regional Baha'i Council for 5 years. I have 2 beautiful daughters and 5 grand children. I am very honored and humble to be invited to serve in whatever capacity i am able.
Littlebrave Beaston (Tsimshean, Makah, and Greek) received her Naturopathic Doctorate and Masters in Acupuncture at Bastyr University and her M. Ed. in Counseling from North Dakota State University. She has been a Bahá’í since 1969 and has experienced Reservation, rural and urban, large and small, heterogeneous and homogenous Bahá’í communities. One of her most memorable life chapters was when she lived on the Standing Rock reservation and taught high school in Solen and Fort Yates at different times. She is the author of several books, including Warrior Grandma: The Story of Patricia Locke, suitable for ages nine and up, and recently released. She received her Naturopathic Doctorate and Masters in Acupuncture at Bastyr University and her M. Ed. in Counseling from North Dakota State University. For fun she loves going to the Bahá’í House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois, visiting indigenous homelands and learning from the people, swimming, hiking, cooking, good conversation, and helping people reach their full potential and make their contributions. To that end she encourages others to write their stories.
Laina Raveendran Greene considers herself a global citizen as a Baha’i and having lived in four countries and traveled and worked in over 45 countries. She connects personally with the struggles of marginalized populations, given her own experience facing classism, sexism, and racism growing up as an ethnic Indian minority in Singapore. Trained since the age of 5 in Classical Indian dance, and Karnatik vocal and violin, Laina understands the importance of Indigenous arts and culture, as part of one’s spiritual development.
Laina truly believes that given the global challenges of climate change and inequity, Indigenous cultures and wisdom offer the world a way to heal and rejuvenate people and the planet. She is excited to see the arising of Indigenous people and hopes to play a small role in amplifying their voices and causes, and to connect the Indigenous movements around the world.
Ceylan İşgör-Locke, originally from Türkiye, holds a PhD in neurosciences from Indiana University in Bloomington. Increasing representation of Indigenous American students in science careers, particularly in research, concerns her. Without this pivotal representation, many discoveries that are waiting to be made for the pursuit of human advancement are simply impossible. She is an avid supporter of women as leaders in science. She commits her efforts to the Patricia Locke Foundation to aid in the paradigm shift needed to reassign value and priorities in the field of education. Ceylan has 15+ years of experience working in a medical school setting as an academician. She is a published drug addiction researcher and continues to serve as a mentor to numerous undergraduate and graduate students. She enjoys parenting her daughter Patricia, named after the late Patricia Locke, and exposing her to the arts and wonders of her culture and the world. She values learning about the rich Indigenous cultures of the Turtle Island, particularly from her husband Kevin, a member of the Lakota tribe.
From a young age Josephine Mulcahy became aware of the disparate treatment of marginalized people and injustices in the world. This awareness fueled her passion for social justice and led to work and service in the arenas of child welfare, government affairs, education and the arts. She has a degree in business and marketing, experience in nonprofit organization and event planning. Josephine is involved in numerous service activities—providing food to the hungry, independent housing for those who have aged out of foster care, and shelter for victims of child abuse and domestic violence.
Josephine has worked on a national campaign, Education Under Fire, whose purpose was bringing religious awareness to persecution of the basic human right to a higher education in Iran.
Josephine’s dedication to the preservation of the environment shine through her photographs of wildlife and the natural world. She lives in Florida and spends time visiting with her daughter, son-in-law and grandson in Puerto Rico.
Advisory Board Members
Michael Hampton’s love for music began in his childhood as the youngest of seven children of a father who served as a Christian minister. Everyone in his family sang and played instruments. At the age of three, Michael began performing and by the time he was six performing semi-professionally.
As a young adult, Michael worked in the entertainment industry as president of a production company and director of tour management for an audio engineering production company. He managed and supported the career development of several successful recording artists, before serving in the military.
During his time in the navy, he was stationed in Japan and advanced in his military career working in top secret as an electronic intelligence analyst. After the military, Michael returned to the music and entertainment industry.
When he married his wife, Linda, and became a father, he discovered life on the road 200 to 250 days of the year became increasingly difficult. When an investment firm recruited him, he cut his hair and bought a suit and began a new career, building three branch offices of an investment practice as a Vice President of Investments with Raymond James & Associates.
Now retired from his work in investments, Michael Hampton serves as an entertainment consultant, music producer and executive producer, team member of the Third Coast Recording Company and a voting member of the Grammy Awards. He enjoys sharing his love of music with his two grandchildren.
Michael has served on the boards of numerous nonprofits and is especially happy to serve as an advisory board member for the Patricia Locke Foundation. He holds a deep respect and admiration for the life and influence of both Patricia Locke and Kevin Locke.
Rainn Dietrich Wilson is an American actor, comedian, writer, director, businessman, and producer. He is best known for his role as Dwight Schrute on the NBC sitcom The Office, for which he has earned three consecutive Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
A native of Seattle, Rainn began acting in college at the University of Washington, and later worked in theatre in New York City after graduating in 1986. Rainn was cast as Dwight Schrute in The Office in 2005-2013. In addition to acting, Rainn published an autobiography, The Bassoon King, in November 2015, and also co-founded the digital media company SoulPancake in 2008 with a very specific mission: to combat negativity online and to uplift, entertain, and provide inspiring human content that joyfully explores life’s big questions.
Rainn is an avid supporter and advisor of nonprofit organizations. He and his wife Holiday Reinhorn are founders of LIDÈ Haiti, an educational initiative that uses the arts and literacy to build resiliency and empower adolescent girls in rural Haiti.
Rainn is married to writer Holiday Reinhorn. The couple married on the Kalama River in Washington in 1995, and have a son, born in 2004. He hosts a podcast for the Baha'i blog called the Baha'i Blogcast, where he interviews notable people about the intersection of their faith and their work.
Layli Miller-Muro is the Founder and Executive Director of the Tahirih Justice Center. Since 2001, Layli has led Tahirih in its service to more than 22,000 women and children, growing the non-profit from a staff of six to over 70, and expanding its offices from Greater DC to Houston, Baltimore, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Prior to joining Tahirih as Executive Director, Layli was an attorney at the law firm of Arnold & Porter, where she practiced international litigation and maintained a substantial pro bono practice. Prior to joining Arnold & Porter, Layli was an attorney-advisor at the U.S. Department of Justice, Board of Immigration Appeals.
Layli is a frequent lecturer and has appeared in numerous news outlets including CNN, Fox News, The New York Times, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. She lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband and three children.
Tȟokéya Inážiŋ- Kevin Locke
Indigenous Culture Bearer/Artist
Kevin Locke’s lifelong drive to explore and create began in 1972 when Richard Fool Bull, the foremost exemplar and practitioner of the Indigenous North American flute, urged him to take up and perpetuate this unique and precious heritage that has evolved and developed here in this continent from time immemorial. Through Richard Fool Bull and many other elders, Kevin caught a glimpse of the dreams, hopes and visions that have propelled our ancestors. Those elders have departed, but their spirit lives through the traditions they have passed on to us. The traditions come alive and unrealized dreams are fulfilled when we actively engage younger generations in their perpetuation.
When Kevin first started with the flute in the mid-1970’s, he wanted to develop a repertoire. Fortunately, many of the elders mentoring him had a great knowledge of the unique vocal genre from which the flute melodies are derived and he obtained a vast reservoir of this special genre. The current popularized “Native American flute” was invented in 1980 for commercial purposes in that it uses the well-known “melodic” or minor pentatonic scale and lends itself to improvisation. Kevin differentiates that from the original Indigenous North American flute, which is much more versatile and has a wider range of notes. The original North American flute is perfectly adapted to play not only chromatic, diatonic and pentatonic scales but its note progression is able to capture the authentic Indigenous North American musical esthetic.
Simultaneous with acquiring flute music, Kevin also received the gift of the hoop dance. He has performed this choreographed prayer and traditional Native American flute in over 100 countries around the world. The dance invokes unity, beauty, holiness and is used to draw the people into this timeless, placeless realm. These authentic North American artistic traditions connect humankind to the natural world. Kevin aspires to present them to meld the physical and secular to the sacred and eternal, to bridge the perceived gap that separates the generations, and to bring all people into the hoop of life.
Though he has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Institute and met many dignitaries, including the Dalia Lama, Kevin feels most at home in presenting in school settings. He treasures connecting children, youth and young adults with Indigenous North American arts, especially music, as a means to link our future leaders to that which is universal, eternal, holy and good.
Every culture has folk arts--expressions that have been passed down over time through the generations. The folk arts portray the universal human values of beauty, balance, symmetry, and unity. Kevin believes that folk arts have universal validity and significance that transcend the vortex of pop culture, in which the arts are often used as a means of escaping reality and distracting us from our essential purpose. Though challenged to reside and perform in a dominant culture with values and esthetics so diametrically different to the millennia old spiritual heritage of this land, Kevin listens to what he considers the universal call of the ancestors. This call inspire him to offer and teach his gifts as contributions to an emerging global culture and to encourage and inspire the younger generation to a global vision in which they see themselves as integral and active participants.
Social Media Manager
Keith Kellersohn joined the Patricia Locke Foundation as a staff member over a deep concern for the need to promote cross-cultural understanding and perspectives, specifically indigenous perspectives which have been heavily underrepresented. He holds Masters Degrees in Strategic Leadership and Business & Organizational Anthropology and has over 30 years experience working in private companies and public institutions, including public education.
Keith's career has spanned the areas of IT, Policy, Research, Compliance, and Business Process Analysis. He enjoys learning about other cultures and their traditions, beliefs, and spiritual practices A life-long learner, Keith lives in Maryland and enjoys traveling and genealogy in his spare time.
While growing up in Michigan, Tanya traveled as a youth within the United States helping with group service projects each summer. Following high school, she spent a year in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay representing Rotary International as an exchange student. Her time in South America fueled a passion for learning about the rich diversity of cultures throughout the world.
While raising her three children, Tanya started a new career in website design and development. Serving local nonprofit organizations in this capacity has deepened her commitment to serve at a national and international level. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with her family and enjoys playing the guitar, golfing and pickleball.