Members of Indian tribes in the region honored by AARP | Local News


Six Indian tribesmen from northeastern Oklahoma were recently honored by AARP at an event in Oklahoma City.

Chief Wyandotte Billy Friend, Pamela Jumper Thurman, Cherokee Tribe Member, Henry McNeer Ellick, Quapaw Tribe Member, Annette Black, Peoria Tribe Member, James Battese of Miami and Norma Kraus, Eastern Shawnee Tribe Member, were recognized Tuesday at the seventh annual AARP Oklahoma Indian Elder Honors Ceremony.

“The common thread between these award recipients is the wisdom and impact they have had on their tribes, families and communities,” said Joe Ann Vermillion, president of the AARP of Oklahoma. “Tonight in this place, as the tribes and nations of Oklahoma come together in a spirit of harmony and peace, we reflect and give thanks for the life they have lived and the countless ways they have lived. have passed on their heritage to future generations. “

A total of 50 people from 30 tribes and nations of Oklahoma were honored.

Friend, of Wyandotte, has helped expand health, social and educational opportunities for the Wyandotte Tribe. The tribe has created an event for tribal children called the “Gathering of the Little Turtles” and is building a $ 1.7 million cultural center that will include a museum and classrooms.

Ellick, of Wyandotte, won a championship belt at age 64 in an amateur boxing tournament in Kansas City. He sits on the Quapaw Tribe Grievance Committee and is a member of the Quapaw Gourd Club.

Kraus, of Wyandotte, was one of the earliest employees of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe, serving as an accountant. She has been active in tribal affairs all of her adult life and volunteers with a Native American Elderly Assistance Program.

Black, of Miami, was an administrative assistant to the Peoria Tribe for 18 years. She sits on the Tribal Grievance Committee and Director of the Adams Pro Tour Tournament at Peoria Ridge Golf Course. She volunteers on the Ottawa County United Way Board of Directors and the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Foundation Board of Directors.

Battese, from Miami, has been appointed to the United States State Homeland Security Local, Tribal, and Territorial Coordinating Council. He previously served on the Miami Tribal Affairs Committee and currently manages the Miami Nation Cemetery.

Thurman, of Grove, is a Cherokee who built her career as a clinical psychologist and researcher. She has published extensively on difficult issues for Native Americans and Alaska Natives, such as methamphetamine treatment and prevention, and rural women’s issues.

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