21.817.13 96th Legislative Session 918

2021 South Dakota Legislature

Senate Commemoration 825

Introduced by: Senators Heinert and Schoenbeck

A LEGISLATIVE COMMEMORATION, Honoring and commending Barry LeBeau for a lifetime of service, advocacy, and his immeasurable contributions to the arts in South Dakota.

WHEREAS, Barry LeBeau was born on January 9, 1951, and was immediately drawn to the arts; and

WHEREAS, Barry LeBeau was proud to be Lakota and a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe; and

WHEREAS, Barry had a long and successful career with music that started at an early age when he was playing drums for local bands that traveled the region; and

WHEREAS, after graduating from high school, Barry would first attend the University of California at Berkeley before returning home to South Dakota to attend Northern University and then the University of South Dakota, where he would become a member of the Alpha Tao Omega fraternity and build friendships that would last the rest of his life; and

WHEREAS, following college, Barry would go on to become a professional actor, speaker, and lobbyist; and

WHEREAS, while Barry started his distinguished acting career at home in Pierre, it would take him to Sioux Falls, Minneapolis, Custer State Park, and Los Angeles; and

WHEREAS, while traveling the country, Barry worked on several documentaries, including the award-winning short film "Ghost Dance," as well as finding himself as a narrator for "America's Great Indian Leaders" and "America's Great Indian Nations," but these weren't the only accolades that Barry would have—he also had film credits in "Yes, I am not Iktomi," "Dust of War," and "Lakota Girls"; and

WHEREAS, following his career in front of and behind the camera, Barry went on to serve on countless boards and councils for South Dakota arts organizations, often as president, where he would use his talents to create the Lakota Music Project to foster a "deeper understanding between white and American Indian cultures through peaceful, positive collaboration"; and

WHEREAS, while Barry was always passionate about the arts, he was also a tireless advocate for South Dakota's Indian Country and its people; and

WHEREAS, Barry left his mark as a longtime program administrator for the United Sioux Tribes while also helping pass numerous pieces of legislation that furthered efforts to help Indian Country; and

WHEREAS, Barry LeBeau will always be remembered for his advocacy, but also for the relationships he built through his wit, booming voice, hearty laugh, and the twinkle in his eye, and will forever be what people think of when someone says Barry LeBeau:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT COMMEMORATED, by the Ninety-Sixth Legislature of the State of South Dakota, that the legislature honors and commends Barry LeBeau for a lifetime of accomplishments, advocacy, and service to the people of South Dakota.

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