September 12, 2017
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee elders across the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction are invited to the third annual Cherokee Nation Elders Summit. This year’s summit is being held later this month in two locations, Tahlequah and Claremore, in order to reach more elders.
The Elders Summit in Tahlequah will be hosted at the Northeastern State University Event Center on Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with the summit in Claremore being hosted at the Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs on Thursday, Sept. 28, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch will be provided to attendees at both locations.
This year’s summit is a continuation of the tribe’s Elder Fraud Protection Initiative, launched in 2015. The Cherokee Nation administration, office of the Attorney General and Marshal Service joined forces, seeking to put an end to the growing problem of elder abuse. The coalition continues to collaborate with state and local agencies to prevent elder abuse and prosecute individuals who financially exploit or otherwise abuse Cherokee elders.
“Cherokee Nation has always valued our tribal elders. They are the caretakers of our traditions, heritage and culture,” Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden said. “A primary goal of the Cherokee Nation is to honor, assist and protect our elders. It is important that our tribal government takes every step we can to protect our most valuable assets and our most vulnerable citizens.”
Various booths will be set up at the summit locations, offering information on how to spot and report elder abuse and resources if one is a victim. Elder abuse has reached epidemic proportions in Oklahoma. Each year, Oklahoma Adult Protective Services receives and investigates more than 15,000 reports of abuse, neglect or exploitation of seniors. Often elders experiencing abuse or exploitation don’t know where to turn or how to seek help.