AARP Oklahoma Indian Navigator

Posted on 01/16/2014 by | AARP Oklahoma | Comments

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Indian Navigator


Make a Nomination for 6th Annual AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Honors

Nominations are being accepted NOW through June 30th for the 6th Annual AARP Oklahaoma Indian Elder Honors. All nominees must be living and be an enrolled member of a federally-recognized tribe or nation headquartered in Oklahoma. Fifty honorees will be recognized at an event in October 2014. The goal is to have at least one nominee from all 39-federally recognized Oklahoma tribes. To make a nomination click HERE.

Please note: a full list of past honorees who are not eligible to be honored again is included at the bottom of this page.


 New Survey: Oklahoma Native American Say Personal Health Problems Are Their Most Important Challenge

A recent survey completed by AARP and the Oklahoma Area Tribal Epidemiology Center (OKTEC) suggests personal health problems are the number one concern of American Indians when asked ‘what is the single most important problem or challenge facing Oklahoma Native Americans in mid-life’.

Respondents to the survey stated other challenges faced were: staying healthy, the cost of living, retirement and transportation.

Click HERE to read the full survey.

Nearly all those surveyed said it is extremely or very important for tribes to maintain current funding levels for health care access, while 87% said funding home modifications that allow people to stay in their own homes is extremely or very important. More than three out of four respondents (86%) said it is extremely or very important for tribes to fund housing arrangements for people who can no longer live in their own homes, such as, adult family homes and assisted living.

The AARP Tribal Community Survey was unveiled at the 6th Annual Tribal Epidemiology Center Public Health Conference held in Shawnee. The survey polled more than 300 American Indian and Alaska Natives age 40 and older living in Oklahoma. It was conducted by OKTEC, part of the nonprofit organization Oklahoma City Area Inter-Tribal Health Board (OCAITHB), in conjunction with AARP Oklahoma.

Tom Anderson, Interim Executive Director of the Oklahoma City Area-Inter Tribal Health Board and OKTEC Director said the American Indian survey targeted 14 Oklahoma communities and gathered information concerning demographics, challenges and priorities in life, consumer-related issues and monthly expenses and discounts.

“The results of this community survey reaffirm the mission of the Oklahoma City Area Inter-Tribal Health Board to improve the health and quality of life of Native American communities through advocacy and education,” he said. “Working with partners like AARP Oklahoma, we are able to extend our effort to explore ways for improving the quality of life for Native Americans”.

AARP Oklahoma State Director Sean Voskuhl said outreach and education to Native Americans is one of the top priorities of the association in Oklahoma.

“This survey is significant because for the first time, we now have a snapshot of the beliefs of Native Americans in Oklahoma,” he said. “This validates AARP’s past work on healthcare education, cultural preservation and transportation and gives us a solid roadmap to continue working with the Oklahoma City Area Inter-Tribal Health Board as well as all 39-federally recognized tribes and nations in the state.”

AARP participated in a breakout session at the public health conference focusing on creating healthy and livable communities by establishing a rural transportation system in eastern Oklahoma.

Other key findings of The AARP Tribal Community Survey include:


  • The majority of those surveyed said they prefer to have family and friends provide care at home as their long-term care option, followed closely by having care provided in a home-like setting such as assisted living and being able to pay a nurse or aide to provide care at home;


  • More than half of those surveyed (53%) said the costs of utilities such as heating, cooling, electricity, water and sewer was a major issue;


  • More than one-third (38% ) of respondents indicated they were extremely worried or very worried about protecting themselves against unfair or deceptive financial practices;


  • 34% of American Indians responding in the survey stated they were extremely worried or very worried about protecting themselves against identity theft;


  • When the survey asked ‘what they dreamed about most’, most of the survey participants (25%) responded: would like to see their grandchildren be happy or be part of their lives;


Dr. John Edwards (1935-2014)

Dr. John Edwards (1935-2014)

Executive Council Member John Edwards Instrumental in Native American Outreach Passes at Age 79

Dr. John Edwards, a member of the AARP Executive Council, who was instrumental in Native American Outreach passed away Friday, April 18, 2014 at the age of 79. Dr. Edwards was former Governor of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and the 2010 Recipient of the AARP Oklahoma Andrus Award for Community Service. He was an active member of the AARP Oklahoma Inter-Tribal Community Group and a key part of the AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Honors. Click HERE to read his full obituary.

Chef Loretta Barrett Oden, a member of the Potawatomi Nation

Chef Loretta Barrett Oden, a member of the Potawatomi Nation


AARP Presents Traditional, Healthy Cooking Demonstration

As part of its on-going education and outreach work with Oklahoma tribal nations, AARP recently presented a traditional healthy cooking demonstration featuring renowned chef, Loretta Barrett Oden, a member of the Potawatomi Nation. The demonstration was held during the 7th Generation Conference in Midwest City. This is the third year AARP has worked with Chef Oden to promote traditional healthy cooking to Native Americans in the state. Click HERE to watch a short video.



AARP Co-Sponsors Conference Focused on Health Disparities

AARP Oklahoma recently partnered with the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee-Creek, Osage and Otoe-Missouria nations to host the 7th Generation Conference in Midwest City.

The three-day event, which was attended by more than 200 people, focused on improving health among Native Americans in Oklahoma and cultural preservation. Conference organizers say Native Americans living in Oklahoma suffer greater health disparities than most other people living in the state.  Click HERE to watch a short video about the conference.

Topics addressed included the complexities of the Indian Health System, the importance of collaborating on American Indian data to enhance Oklahoma public health efforts, restoring health through cultural preservation and traditional healthy cooking.

A highlight at the event was a free screening of the new movie “The Cherokee Word for Water” which is based on a true story about former Cherokee Chief Wilma Mankiller. Click HERE to watch a preview of the film. 

Interested in learning more about AARP’s Inter-Tribal Community Group? E-mail Mashell Sourjohn at:


Past Indian Elder Honorees (Note: past honorees are not eligible to be honored again)


Jeanetta Anderson, Muscogee Creek; Larry Angelo, Ottawa; Mary Arkeketa, Muscogee Creek; Diana Autaubo, Seminole; Jack Baker, Cherokee; Bettty Starr Barker, Cherokee; Rev. Bertram Bobb, Choctaw; Johniie Brasuell, Muscogee Creek; Pauline Carpenter Brown, Chickasaw; Cordelia Clapp, Pawnee; Ann Louise Bedoka Donaghey, Caddo; Kotcha Doonkeen, Seminole; Conrad Galey, Comanche; Dr. Aaron Gawhega, Otoe-Missouria; Marshall R. Gover, Pawnee; Dr. Richard A. Grounds, Euchee; Irene D. Hamilton, Cheyenne-Arapaho; Pauline Haney, Muscogee Creek; Eugene Harjo, Muscogee Creek; Fannie Harjo, Seminole; LaDonna Harris, Comanche; Jim Henson, Keetoowah; Charles “Sonny” Holloway, Kaw; E. Bernadette Huber, Iowa; Clark Inkanish, Wichita & Affiliated; Rose Jefferson, Chickasaw; Cornelia Quoetone-Karty, Comanche & Kiowa; Keeper Johnson, Muscogee Creek; Janice Rowe-Kurak, Iowa; Charles Lookout, Osage; Sandra Dacon-Medrano, Thlopthlocco & Muscogee; Ted McCullum, Modoc; Joanna Palmer Morris, Seminole; Loretta Barrett Oden, Citizen Potawatomi; John Pinezaddleby, Kiowa; Mary Ann Powell, Citizen Potawatomi; Barbara Smith, Chickasaw; Carolyn Smith, Shawnee; Sherry Smith, Comanche; Towana Spivey, Chickasaw; Larry Spybuck, Absentee Shawnee; Ross Swimmer, Cherokee; William Tall Bear, Sr., Cheyenne-Arapaho; Harriet Tehauno, Choctaw; Wilbur “Webb” Tipton, Miami; Cecil Wahpekeche, Kickapoo; Shirley Walker, Seminole; Maxine Williams-Thompson, Ponca; Julia Wilson, Osage; Jack Yargee, Alabama-Quassarte.


Peggy F. Acoya, Sac & Fox; Fredo “Chubby” Anderson, Muscogee Creek; Buel Anglen, Cherokee; Neill Bayhylle, Pawnee; Mary Ann Brittan, Choctaw; Lloyd Perry Buffalo, Quapaw; Grace Bunner, Thlopthlocco; Mary Butler, Kaw & Peoria; Royce Carter, Miami; Ella M. Colman, Seminole; George Coser, Musogee Creek; Judy Deer-Coser, Sac & Fox; Leland Michael Darrow, Ft. Sill Apache; Georgia Gallegos, Delaware Nation; Glenda Glavan, Chickasaw; Joe Grayson, Jr., Cherokee; John Hair, United Keetowah; Louis Headman, Ponca; Sharon Den Hoed, Ottawa; Leroy Howard, Seneca Cayuga; Doyle Barry Kerr, Shawnee; Dee Ketchum, Delaware Tribe; Annette Ketchum, Delaware Tribe; H. Mongraine Lookout, Osage; Alica Roberta Hedges Lindsley, Peoria; Rebecca Lindsey, Muscogee Creek; JoAnn Big Soldier Mayes, Iowa & Otoe-Missouria; Guy Munroe, Kaw; Emma Murdock, Kickapoo; Lyndreth “Tugger” Palmer, Kiowa & Choctaw; Dr. Steven B. Pratt, Osage; Lucinda Robbins, Cherokee; Gayle Cussen Satepauhoodle, Caddo; Jim Schreen Tonkawa; Jack Shadwick, Modoc; Baptiste Shunatona, Otoe-Missouria; Doyle Morton Thompson, Citizen Potawatomi; William (Bill) Thorpe, Sac & Fox; Nathan “Jumbo” Tselee, Apache; Pauline White Wahpepah, Absentee Shawnee; Josephine Myers-Wapp, Comanche; Dr. Linda Sue Warner, Comanche; Matthew Whitehorse, Kiowa; Stratford Williams, Wichita & Affiliated; Stella Wilson, Sac & Fox, Iowa; Robert Wilson, Cheyenne & Arapaho; Gladys Yackeyonny, Delaware Nation.


Dr. Richard Allen, Cherokee; John Edwin Anderson, Chickasaw & Choctaw; Leola Barnett, Kialegee; Leaford Bearskin, Wyandotte; Mary Birdtail, Absentee Shawnee; George Blanchard, Absentee Shawnee; Jerry C. Bread, Kiowa; Nora Cheek, Thlopthlocco; Hank Childs, Otoe-Missouria; Lena (Ellis) Pennock Clark, Sac & Fox; Judy Cobb, Modoc; Velma Coker, Seminole; Kenneth & Rita Coosewoon, Comanche; Barbara Kyser-Collier, Quapaw; Thomas W. Cooper, Chickasaw; Shirley Davilla, Wichita & Affiliated; Judy C. Davis, Miami; Mary Lou Davis, Caddo; John Daughtery, Jr., Eastern Shawnee; Dr. Charla Dawes, Ottawa; Mary Dethrage, Citizen Potawatomi; Thomas J. Dry, Choctaw; Jerry Haney, Seminole & Muscogee Creek; J.C. Elliott, Cherokee & Osage; Emmett “Bud” Ellis, Peoria; Bill Glass, Jr., Cherokee; Sequoyah Guess, United Keetoowah; Georgie Honey, Shawnee; Nadean Hilliard, Seneca Cayuga; Benedict Kawaykla, Fort Sill Apache; Curtis Kekahbah, Kaw; John Lee Kemble, Ponca; Gregg Klinekole, Jr., Apache; Charles A. Lone Chief, Jr., Pawnee; Ron Parker, Chickasaw; Harvey Phillip Pratt, Cheyenne & Arapaho; Thelma Lucile “Chincie” Ross, Chickasaw; Victor Roubidoux, Iowa; Greta Haney Ruminer, Seminole; Martha Spotted Bear, Osage, Kaw & Ponca; Gene E. Tsatoke, Kiowa; Lawrence Wahpepah, Kickapoo; Betty Warr, Choctaw; Mary Watters, Delaware Tribe; Richard Ray Whitman, Muscogee Creek; Julian Q. Whorton, Kiowa; Rev. Donald Eugene “Gene” Wilson, Choctaw; Videll Yackeschi, Comanche; Winey Yargee, Alabama Quassarte.


Barbara J. Allen, Tonkawa; Bill Barnett, Muscogee Creek; Doretha Bowen, Choctaw; Nelson BigBow, Kiowa; Raymond M. Cline, Delaware Tribe; John William Cornsilk, United Keetoowah; Dr. Pete G. Coser, Muscogee Creek; Leon Cross, Citizen Potawatomi; Charles Diebold, Seneca Cayuga; Randlett Edmonds, Caddo; Charles Enyart, Eastern Shawnee; J.B. Fish, Alabama Quassarte; June Fixico, Kialegee; Phil Follis, Modoc; Grace Goodeagle, Quapaw; Cornelia Mae Gosney, Otoe Missouria; Freddie Halfmoon, Shawnee; Enoch Kelly Haney, Seminole; Ernest Hooser, Choctaw; Melvin Imotichey, Chickasaw; Joyce Big Soldier-Miller, Iowa; Stella M. Nullake-Nanaeto, Sac & Fox; Stuart Owings, Wichita & Affiliated; Dixon Palmer, Kiowa & Choctaw; Steve Pensoneau, Ponca; Luther Pepper, Kaw; Dwight Pickering, Caddo, Kaw & Otoe; Linda Sue Poolaw, Delaware Nation; Jimmy L. Reeder, Cherokee; Carolyn Garren-Ritchey, Peoria; Esteline Sloan-Schulenberg, Absentee Shawnee; Bill Shoemate, Comanche; Mary Smith, Chickasaw; Henry Chapman Stoneroad, Pawnee; George E. Tall Chief, Osage; John R. (Jack) Thorpe, Sac & Fox; Coweta Ulrey, Ottawa; Raymond Vann, Cherokee; Mildred Walker, Miami; Anita Lookout-West, Osage; Bob White, Kickapoo; Patricia Ann Woods, Chickasaw.


James Anquoe, Kiowa; Tony Arkeketa, Ponca; Turner Bear, Jr., Muscogee Creek; Gene Bible Muscogee Creek; Kennedy Brown, Chickasaw; Dr. Guyneth Bedoka Cardwell, Caddo; Allan Colbert, Muscogee Creek; Ethel Cook, Ottawa; Phillip Coon, Muscogee Creek; Gracie Dailey, Seminole; Lorena DeRoin, Otoe-Missouria; Eula Doonkeen, Seminole; Jerry Douglas, Delaware Tribe;  Tewana Edwards, Chickasaw; Martha (Bull Frog) Ellis Edwards, Absentee Shawnee; Mary Spooner Ellis, Sac & Fox; Bill Follis, Modoc; Lawerence Hart, Cheyenne Arapaho; Jacob Fixico, Kialegee; Melinda Gibson, Thlopthlocco; Lupe A. Gooday, Sr.; Ft. Still Apache; Barbara Goodin, Comanche; George Elton Howell, Pawnee; Juanita Johnson, Kickapoo; John Ketcher, Cherokee;  Doris Jean Lamar McLemore, Wichita & Affiliated; Bill Mashunkashey, Osage; Nadine Mayfield, Miami; Florence Whitecrow Matthews, Quapaw; William Nadeau, Citizen Potawatomi; Ted Nesvold, Wyandotte; Levi Orphan, Chickasaw/Choctaw; Don Patterson, Tonkawa; Norma Price, Choctaw; Lucy Belle Schultz, Chickasaw; Dr. Lahoma Schultz, Muscogee Creek & Seminole; Mae Sine, Iowa; Leo Smallwood, Choctaw; Wayne Smith, Seneca Cayuga; Hickory Starr, Cherokee; Wanda Stone, Kaw; James Squirrel, Shawnee; Glenna Wallace, Eastern Shawnee; George Wickliffe, United Keetoowah; Evangeline Wilson, Choctaw; Tarpie Yargee, Alabama Quassarte.