AARP Oklahoma is accepting nominations for the 13th annual AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Honors, which celebrates 50 Native American elders who have positively impacted our country, state, communities and Indian Country.

“Regardless what we experience today, one unwavering constant is our elders’ brilliance and resilience,” said AARP Oklahoma state president Joe Ann Vermillion. “For some, their service is well-known and well-documented, but others shy away from recognition as they quietly exhibit devotion to their communities.”

Since its inception in 2009, AARP Oklahoma’s Indian Elder Honors has recognized nearly 600 elders from Oklahoma’s 39 tribal nations. Past honorees include teachers, veterans, artists, tribal leaders, and culture preservationists. 

AARP state director Sean Voskuhl said, “The elders connect and ground us to our past, keep us mindfully present and inspire future generations to become better curators of communities and cultures.”

The AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Honors will occur in the fall of 2021. Nomination applications are online at Nominees must be an enrolled member of one of Oklahoma’s 39 tribal nations, age 50+, and must be living. Nominees are selected based upon their contribution to and social impact on their community, tribal nation, and/or country.  Incomplete applications will not be considered. Nominees do not have to be AARP members to be considered. Honorees will be selected by AARP. For more information or to request a mail-in nomination form, please contact Mashell Sourjohn at 405-715-4474 or The deadline for submitting nominations is March 31, 2021.

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