AARP Oklahoma accepting nominees for 2020 Indian Elder Honorees

AARP Oklahoma is accepting applications for the 12th annual AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Honors celebrating Native American elders from across the state for their positive impacts on their communities, families, tribe and nation.

The 2020 AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Honors is scheduled Oct. 6 in Oklahoma City where approximately 50 Native American elders are recognized at the banquet event attended by their families and fellow tribal members and dignitaries.

“The AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Honors recognizes the extraordinary contribution of Native American elders – many of whom are the unsung heroes of their communities,” AARP Oklahoma volunteer state president Joe Ann Vermillion said in a news release.

AARP state director Sean Voskuhl said, “This event celebrates a lifetime of service from these distinguished elders who exhibit a love of family, dedication to culture and respect for all people.” 

Since its inception in 2009, AARP Oklahoma’s Indian Elder Honors has recognized more than 550 elders from Oklahoma’s 39 tribal nations, according to the release. Past honorees include teachers, veterans, artists, tribal leaders, and culture preservationists.

Osage elders from various professional backgrounds are among those who have been nominated and selected by Oklahoma AARP. In 2019, five Osage elders were honored including: Franklin McKinley, Rise Supernaw Proctor, Dr. Ron Shaw, Marvin Stepson and Cecelia Tallchief.

Nomination applications are available online at:

Nominations can also be mailed to AARP Oklahoma, 126 N. Bryant, Edmond, OK, 73034.

The deadline for submitting nominations is April 30 until 11:59 PM CT. 

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 contributions 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, contact Mashell Sourjohn at (405) 715-4474 or email

For a full list of the 2019 honorees, visit and click the 2019 AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Honors Program.