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AARP Oklahoma accepting nominations for 2022 Indian Elder Honors

AARP Oklahoma is now accepting nominations for the 14th annual AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Honors, which celebrates 50 Native American elders who have positively impacted the country, state and/ or Indian Country.

Since its inception in 2009, AARP Oklahoma’s Indian Elder Honors has recognized more than 650 elders from Oklahoma’s 39 tribal nations, according to the nonprofit.

In a statement, AARP Oklahoma state director Sean Voskuhl said: “These honorees are beacons of hope and inspiration and embody AARP’s mission and vision, as they inspire others to serve. The Native American elders we recognize are an extraordinary example of the difference that we all can make in others’ lives and in the vitality of our communities.” 

Past honorees include teachers, veterans, artists, tribal leaders, and culture preservationists.  The AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Honors celebration will occur in fall 2022. Nominations should be submitted at

The deadline for submitting 2022 Indian elder nominations is March 31.

In 2021, AARP Oklahoma selected 47 Native elders from across Oklahoma, including five Osages who were recognized virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Each elder honoree received an honor medallion via mail due to the 2021 in-person honor ceremony cancelation.

Indian elder honoree nomination applications are available online at

Nominees must be an enrolled member of one of Oklahoma’s 39 federally recognized tribal nations, age 50 or greater and must be living. “Nominees are selected based upon their contribution to and social impact on their community, tribal nation, and/or country,” according to AARP Oklahoma. 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, contact Mashell Sourjohn at (405) 715-4474 or email her at

According to its website, AARP is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization “that empowers people to choose how they live as they age.” For more information on AARP services and resources, visit and select your respective state from the list.


Shannon Shaw Duty

Original Publish Date: 2022-01-18 00:00:00


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Shannon Shaw Duty
Shannon Shaw Duty is the editor of the Osage News. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor's degree in Journalism and a master's degree in Legal Studies, Indigenous Peoples Law from the OU College of Law. She served on the Board of Directors for the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) from 2013-2016 and served as a board member and Chairwoman for the Pawhuska Johnson O’Malley Parent Committee from 2017-2020. She is a Chips Quinn Scholar, a former instructor for the Freedom Forum’s Native American Journalism Career Conference and the Freedom Forum’s American Indian Journalism Institute. She is a former reporter for The Santa Fe New Mexican. She is a 2012 recipient of the Native American 40 Under 40 from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED). In 2014 she helped lead the Osage News to receive the Elias Boudinot Free Press Award, NAJA’s highest honor. An Osage tribal member, she and her family are from the Grayhorse District. She currently resides in Pawhuska, Okla., with her husband and six children.

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