TAHLEQUAH - Noted cultural educator, hoop dancer and flute player Kevin Locke will be a featured speaker during the 34th Annual Symposium on the American Indian. Themed "Native Roots Run Deep," the symposium will run April 5-8, 2006, on the Northeastern State University''s Tahlequah campus.
Additional events include traditional art demonstrations and a Cherokee language forum celebrating the new Cherokee bachelor's degree program at Northeastern. There will be a Native Language Revitalization seminar offering one-hour college credit to participants on April 6-7. The symposium will conclude with the Annual NSU Powwow on April 8. For a complete list of events visit the Symposium web site or call the Center for Tribal Studies at 918-456-5511, ext. 4350.
Kevin Locke (Tokeya Inajin is his Lakota name, meaning "The First to Arise") is known throughout the world as a visionary Hoop Dancer, the preeminent player of the indigenous Northern Plains flute, a traditional storyteller, cultural ambassador, recording artist, and educator.
Locke is Lakota (Hunkpapa Band of Lakota Sioux) and Anishinabe. It was from his mother, Patricia Locke, a 1991 MacArthur Foundation Grant winner, his uncle Abraham End-of-Horn, mentor Joe Rock Boy, and many other elders and relatives that he received training in the values, traditions, and language of his native culture.
He is involved in hundreds of concerts and presentations at performing arts centers, festivals, schools, universities, conferences, state and national parks, monuments and historic sites, powwows, and reservations each year.
Locke also presents workshops and seminars are in two major categories: in-school presentations for students and workshops for professionals, special interest workgroups, and the general public.
Tailoring his workshops to the needs of the participants, Locke calls upon a vast repertoire of traditional stories, flute and vocal songs, humor, and the inspiring Hoop Dance. Interactivity is an essential element in Locke's workshops as he leads insightful discussions, teaches native sign language and basic hoop dancing techniques, followed by a traditional friendship circle dance in which everyone shines.
Locke will be joined by other featured speakers including Dr. Rennard Strickland (Cherokee/Osage), an expert on American Indian Law and Philip H. Knight professor of law at the University of Oregon School of Law; Dr. Akira Yamamoto, an expert in Native American Linguistics and professor of anthropology at the University of Kansas; Wilma Mankiller (Cherokee), a noted author and former Chief of the Cherokee Nation; and Robert Conley (Cherokee), an award-winning novelist and poet.