Who is Patricia Locke
(The Matriarch Inspiration of the Patricia Locke Foundation)
Patricia Locke is the subject of a book by John Kolstoe:
Patricia A. Locke (Tȟawáčhiŋ Wašté Wiŋ, Compassionate Woman, January 21, 1928 – October 20, 2001) was a member of the Lakota (Hunkpapa band), and White Earth Chippewa (Mississippi band). A devout educator and tribal rights leader, her work on the promotion and preservation of Indigenous traditional knowledge and wisdom, particularly concerning establishment of tribal colleges and development of tribal education policies and codes won her the esteemed Mac Arthur Foundation Fellowship in 1991. Locke advanced educational opportunities for the Indigenous Nations and under-served populations in the United States, both through tireless advocacy at the level of the US Legislation and through development of innovative educational policies in grassroots Indigenous communities. She worked directly with seventeen tribes, supporting their efforts to establish tribal colleges with critical advancements towards creating tribal educational standards for Indigenous languages. In her writings, Locke elucidates Indigenous values and belief systems, importance of education, native languages, and culture. A defender of the basic human rights, she was one of the principal authors of the American Indian Freedom of Religion Act (1978) which afforded basic religious freedom for Indigenous people in the US. This was a monumental shift from prior policies that outlawed all Indigenous devotional expression. She championed the cause of freedom of religion in the Western Hemisphere in her countless international engagements.
She taught and lectured at UCLA, San Francisco State University, Alaska Methodist University, the University of Colorado, and the University of Southern Maine. She was active internationally at the World Assembly of First Nations in Canada (1982), Chair of the Indigenous Women’s Caucus at Beijing (1995), and among the speakers at the Parliament of World Religions, Cape Town, South Africa (1999). She was a speaker at the Ecological Summit at Rio de Janeiro in 1992 sponsored by the UN, one of the first address of the climate change in a global consultative form. Late in her life, Patricia Locke accepted the Baha'i Faith and became the first Indigenous woman to be elected to an office of the National Spiritual Assembly (1993).
She was a recipient of the Indigenous Language Institute's Those Who Make a Difference award in 2001. She was inducted posthumously in the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2006. She was a National Race Amity Conference Honoree and posthumously received a Race Amity Medal of Honor. Most recently, Google Cultural Institute included her in its listing Showcasing Great Women in 2014. Her son Kevin Locke, the renowned cultural ambassador, continues her legacy and work in creating a positive awareness of oneness of humanity.