October 14, 2019


On 16 September 2019, Ottawa received a special visit from Kevin Locke, a Bahá'í of Lakota background from South Dakota in the US. He was in town to give a presentation of indigenous music, song and stories at the National Arts Centre. While here, he came to the Ottawa Bahá’í Centre and spoke to a full house on key Bahá'í principles seamlessly intermixed with indigenous stories about creation and prophecy. To accompany this, he played handmade flutes and sang songs in different Indian languages.

One story was about the first international language, which was a silent one. According to Kevin Locke, there were once hundreds of Indian languages that were very different from one another, so communication was only possible among the many tribes by using gesture and sign language. Kevin taught one song to the gathering in words and music so we could all sing together.

While he did not perform his popular hoop dance, he did assemble 16 or more hoops over his body to create an eagle in flight and then reassembled some of them as a globe. In some indigenous stories, humanity had fought with one another and divided into many separate groups. It was prophesied that they would one day come together again. Kevin says that now is the time. The many hoops were divided into different colours (red, white, yellow and black). Together the hoops formed a very solid world of united humanity, but if one hoop is taken out, the whole globe completely falls apart.

This was a very beautiful and magical evening of storytelling and spiritual learning. Fortunately for the audience, Kevin brought with him copies of his book Arising and two CDs: Lightning & Wind - The Voice & Flute of a Nation and Earth Gift, for which he won the 2009 Record of the Year at the Native American Music Awards.

One of the audience members stated that he held the audience's attention throughout. “He was a wonderful storyteller who welcomed the audience's participation. There were wonderful themes about the universal language of the heart, and of our oneness. A very uplifting sharing. I was grateful and glad for the evening.”

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