CN hosts Elder Summit in Tahlequah
Cherokee storyteller Robert Lewis visits with Julia Stock at the Cherokee Nation Elder Summit on Sept. 26 at Northeastern State University’s ballroom in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The first of two meetings for the Cherokee Nation Elders Summit was held Sept. 26 at the Northeastern State University Ballroom.
Elder Summit coordinator Kamisha Hair-Daniels said this year’s events marked the third year the tribe has hosted summits specifically created to benefit Cherokee elders.
“We feed them, we have a resource fair and we also have presenters who come in and give them useful information regarding identity theft, Medicaid fraud, healthy living and other topics like that,” she said.
Daniels said she’s glad that Cherokee Nation officials decided to hold summits for elders.
“It’s a day to let them know that there’s help out there,” she said.
Daniels said elders are often targeted by scams and can be vulnerable to criminal activity.
“Our elders need the information available to them here,” she said.
CN citizen Russell Feeling, who attended the event in Tahlequah, said he came for several reasons. “I wanted to pick up information here and see what’s available to seniors, but it’s also a chance to see old friends. Fellowship becomes more important the older we get.”
The second meeting of the 2017 Elder Summit was held two days later at the Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs in Claremore. Organizers said holding the summit in Cherokee and Rogers counties cut down the distances elders had to travel to the meetings.
Principal Chief Bill John Baker said the knowledge available at Elder Summits are crucial to the well-being of aging CN citizens.
“Cherokees have always honored and revered our elders. Bringing them here to let them know what services are available, how we can help, what we’re doing, giving them updates along with feeding them a good meal is extremely important,” Baker said.