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Indian Times: AARP Honors Native Elders (Oct 13, 2012)

This week on Indian Times,  the American Association of Retired People, or AARP, honors Oklahoma’s Native elders…Ojibway author Louise Erdrich releases a new book, we’ll have an excerpt from her interview with NPR’s Audie Cornish.

The American Association of Retired People, or AARP along with Thirty five Oklahoma Native American Tribes and Nations, joined together to celebrate the lives of honored elders at the 4th Annual AARP Indian Elder Honors dinner held last week in Oklahoma City. Tribal officials, friends and family members were at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum along with AARP state, regional and national officials to recognize language preservationists, artists, dancers, ministers, authors, patriarchs and matriarchs that have impacted their tribes, communities and state.  Among the 39 honorees recognized at the event was Emma Murdock from the Kickapoo Nation, she is one of the few remaining Oklahoma Indians who speaks only her native language, she also teaches traditional cooking and makes traditional  clothing for her family and tribal members...Lyndreth “Tugger” Palmer (Kiowa) who was a world-champion fancy dancer and a member of the Kiowa Black Leggings Warrior Society for 53 years...Baptiste Shunatona, a Colonel in the US Army for 42 years, a man described as dedicated to his Otoe-Missouria tribe,  and Josephine Myers-Wapp, (pictured above) the oldest living Comanche. She is a noted artist who began her schooling at the Santa Fe Indian School and chose fiber and traditional arts as her major area of study.  She taught art at Chilocco Indian School in Oklahoma and at the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe where she was involved in all areas of art including dance.  In 1968 she helped coordinate a dance exhibit at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City featuring students from IAIA.   Each honoree with presented with a medallion.  AARP State President Marjorie Lyons said that the honorees have something in common – “respect, dignity and service to their fellow man.” AARP also announced the formation of an Inter-Tribal Community Group that will meet on community issues and is open to all Native Americans who are 50 years of age and older in Oklahoma .

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