As we progress through the final days of this year, we wanted to take a moment to remember some of the beloved Indigenous people who walked on during 2022.

Many were instrumental in fighting for and advancing Native rights, uplifting tribal arts and culture, and drawing crucial attention to important Native American issues.

We remember here some of those that Indian Country lost during the past year.  

Clyde Bellecourt, One of the Original Founders of the American Indian Movement, Passes Away

Clyde Bellecourt, one of the original founders of the American Indian Movement (AIM), passed away on Jan. 11, 2022 due to complications with cancer. He was 85 years old.

Bellecourt co-founded the American Indian Movement in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1968 to address systemic issues of poverty, discrimination, and police brutality against urban American Indians. 

Chicago Native American Community Loses Susan Kelly Power at 97

Susan Kelly Power walked on on Oct. 29, 2022 at age 97. Power, whose Indian name meant "Storm Clouds Gathering," arrived in Chicago in 1942. when she was only 15 years old from the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. She lived in the city until her death, and became a lifetime activist, friend to many, and a founding member of the American Indian Center of Chicago.

Tim Giago, Oglala Lakota Publisher and Trailblazer for Modern Indigenous Journalism, Walks On

Tim Giago, publisher, activist, writer, reporter, editor, organizer, friend, and relative, passed away at the Monument Hospital in Rapid City on Sunday, July 24 at 8:34 am. He was 88.

Born on July 12, 1934, Giago formed the Native American Press Association at Penn State University in 1983, with more than two dozen other Indigenous journalists.  The organization would later become the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA). He was elected NAJA's first president.  

Kevin Locke, Lakota Flute Player, Hoop Dancer, and Cultural Ambassador, Walks On at 68

Influential Lakota flute player and hoop dancer Kevin Locke died suddenly on Sept. 30, 2022 in Custer, South Dakota. Locke performed in more than 80 countries and in thousands of schools. Through his travels, he has invited many to perform and inspired many award-winning musicians and performers throughout his career.

His numerous accolades include being a National Heritage Fellow for the National Endowment of the Arts, the highest award granted to traditional artists. In 2018, Locke founded the Patricia Locke Foundation to educate and preserve cultural traditions and wisdom among indigenous youth.

 Enoch Kelly Haney, Artist, Legislator, & Former Chief of Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, Dies

On April 23, 2022 the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma announced that Chief Kelly Haney died at the age of 81. 

 Enoch Kelly Haney was a former Oklahoma lawmaker with years of service as a lawmaker in the Oklahoma State Legislature and became the Principal Chief of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma for four years in 2005. He was the first full-blood American Indian to serve in the state legislature, according to the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. 

Indian Country lawyer Rob Rosette walks on

Robert Allen Rosette, 52, a well-known attorney who represented tribal governments in all aspects of business and Indian law, died on Sept 17 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. 

Rosette, a citizen of the Chippewa-Cree Tribe, founded the Rosette LLP law firm in 2004 to represent tribal governments in all facets of federal Indian law, including economic development, commercial transactions, gaming and litigation. 

More Stories Like This

This Day in History — May 28, 1830, Andrew Jackson Signs Indian Removal Act
Native News Weekly (May 28, 2023): D.C. Briefs
Oklahoma Legislature Overrides Governor Stitt’s Veto of Native Regalia Bill
Native Bidaské with Lummi Nation Chairman Anthony Hillaire on the Opioid Crisis
Tohono O’odham Citizen Shot and Killed by U.S. Border Patrol; FBI Investigating

Native News is free to read.

We hope you enjoyed the story you've just read. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps.  Most readers donate between $10 and $25 to help us cover the costs of salaries, travel and maintaining our digital platforms. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to join the Founder's Circle. All donations help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online StaffEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected].