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AARP Oklahoma is Listening to Indian Elders

We invited Indians from across the state to join us for a special lunch and listening session in early December.

The purpose of the session was for us to listen to the wants and needs of Indians elders, to get suggestions on how AARP can help with those needs and to share more about the association.

On Dec.6, a group of 28 American Indian elders representing 12 Oklahoma tribes met for lunch at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Among those attending were the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission, tribal representatives, the former Chief of the Miami Nation, the former Chairwoman of the Quapaw Tribe, the former Governor of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe and the former Lt. Governor of the Chickasaw Nation. There were also tribal representatives as well as every-day tribal members.

We focused on two simple questions:

1) What is the most important issues facing older Indians

2) How could AARP Oklahoma help address that issue

Now, we’re inviting other Indians who couldn’t join us for lunch to answer the same questions. Take a minute and think about those two simple questions. Then e-mail your answers to Craig Davis.

We’ll use your feedback as we continue to build our strategy for working with Oklahoma Indian elders.

Also, don’t forget that we’re now accepting nominations for the 2011 AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Honors through May 31. In 250 words or less, tell us how the nominee has made a difference in their tribe, community or state.

Nominations can come from a tribe or an individual. Nominees must be a member of a federally-recognized Oklahoma tribe and must be living. E-mail nominations to Craig Davis. For more information, call Davis at (405) 715-4473.