(Photo Courtesy of AARP Oklahoma)
For Immediate Release
Oct. 11, 2019
Media Contact: Liz Gray
O: (918) 549-2453
AARP Oklahoma honors Muscogee (Creek) elder, ceremonial leader
Thompson one of 52 distinguished Native Americans recognized during celebration
OKLAHOMA CITY — AARP Oklahoma honored Muscogee (Creek) Supreme Court Justice and Hickory Ground Mekko George Thompson Oct. 1, during their 11th Annual Indian Elder Honors at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
Thompson was one of 52 distinguished elders honored during the largest gathering of its kind in the state with over 900 people in attendance.
Every year, AARP select honorees nominated by their peers that represent what is best about Native American people – a love of family, dedication to culture and respect for all people.
“This event celebrates a lifetime of service from these distinguished elders who have positively impacted their community, family, tribe and nation,” AARP Oklahoma State Director Sean Voskuhl said. “For some, their service is well-known and well-documented, but others shy away from recognition as they quietly exhibit devotion to their communities.”
AARP OK Associate State Director Outreach Mashell Sourjohn stated Thompson’s life work with his tribal nation, community and tribal citizens mirrors the values and vision of AARP.
Thompson was recognized for his devotion to the Mvskoke culture in his role as Mekko of Hickory Ground ceremonial ground, which he has held for more than 40 years. He was also acknowledged for his appointed position on the MCN Supreme Court.
“He is a humble leader that understands that the survival of one’s peoplehood requires preservation of language, land and culture…He has worked diligently to preserve our language and culture through engaging our community and youth,” Sourjohn said.
“It is truly our honor to be able to recognize Mr. George Thompson, Jr. and spotlight his accomplishments. He is an inspiration and someone many generations can aspire to be.”
Thompson himself said the honor came unexpectedly. He was returning home from Hickory Ground when he received the call from Sourjohn about his nomination.
“It’s good to be recognized amongst great names out there,” Thompson said. “There’s probably a lot more people out there that deserves to be recognized, but I was glad to be selected amongst them.”