MacArthur Fellows Program

Patricia Locke

Tribal Rights Leader and Educator | Class of 1991

Tribal Rights Leader and Educator
Choctaw, Oklahoma
63 at time of award
October 20, 2001
Area of Focus
Education and Training
Published July 1, 1991

About Patricia's Work

Patricia Locke was an advocate for tribal rights and a leader in the promotion of American Indian self-determination and education.

Locke advanced educational opportunities for the American Indian Nations and for minorities in the United States, both through advocacy and in the development of innovative educational policies.  She had tribal affiliations with the Standing Rock Sioux-Hunkpapa Lakota and the White Earth Chippewa-Mississippi Band and worked directly with seventeen tribes, supporting their efforts to establish colleges on their reservations.  In her writings, Locke elucidates American Indian values and belief systems, education, native languages, and culture.  A defender of indigenous rights, she promoted the preservation of native cultures and languages in the Western Hemisphere.


Co-chair of the International Native Languages Issues Institute, Locke was director of Planning Resources in Minority Education for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education and education project director for the National Congress of American Indians and the National Tribal Chairmen’s Association.  She lectured at the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Colorado, and the University of Southern Maine.  Locke served as chair of the Indigenous Women’s Caucus at the 1995 United Nations Women’s Conference in Beijing.

Locke received a B.A. (1951) from the University of California, Los Angeles. 

Last updated January 1, 2005

Select News Coverage of Patricia Locke
November 3, 2001
"Obituary: Patricia Locke, 73; Helped 17 Tribes Start Indian Colleges"
Los Angeles Times
Patricia Locke , 1991 MacArthur Fellow
More Fellows

View All 1991 Fellows

Stay Informed
Sign up for periodic news updates and event invitations.
Connect with us on social media or view all of our social media content in one place.