TVLSE, Oklahoma – The holidays are a great time to spend with friends and family, and Muscogee culture is no different. Muscogee (Creek) Nation Elder Services hosted the Elder Holiday Luncheon at RiverSpirit Casino and Resort on Dec 15. The event featured food, entertainment, door prizes, and a photo booth. All Mvskoke elder citizens aged 55 and older from across the nation were invited to fellowship and enjoy the holiday festivities.
Like many other holiday events across the tribe, the Elder Luncheon was unable to be hosted within the past few years due to the Covid pandemic. According to MCN Elder Services Office Manager Christy Boone, the number of attendants at this year’s luncheon was over 500, a packed house.
Angella Fish is the MCN Elder Services Director. She is tasked with ensuring the needs of all Muscogee Elders from across the reservation are met. The luncheon is one of the many ways her department serves the community.
“This is a very exciting event for our elders; they look forward to this event,” Fish said. “Just to come, to have a meal, fellowship with one another, and enjoy the entertainment.”
While most elder communities are active with their gatherings, the luncheon brought all communities and individuals together to enjoy the holiday-themed event. It acts as a way for the tribe to show how much they appreciate their elder communities. Fish’s favorite part of the event is seeing people relax and have fun.
“It’s just seeing our elders enjoy themselves and to be fed a really nice meal and to be treated special,” Fish said. “To see them enjoy the entertainment, all the visiting, all the camaraderie.”
Elders from the Okemah community hopped in a van and traveled north for the luncheon. Carol Tiger (Mvskoke) said they look forward to events like this every year because of the people they get to see.
“Every chance we get that the Creek Nation holds an event, we try to make sure we attend it,” Tiger said. “It’s a big get-together through all the other communities, and we know everyone from the other communities, like friends and relatives.”
For Muscogee Citizen Katherine Powell, she views the luncheon as a reunion with loved ones.
“Getting to see people you haven’t seen in a long time,” Powell said. “Seeing the other communities and family and friends.”
Lyle Wells (Mvskoke) said he is thankful to be a part of a tribe that seeks to service its elders.
“It lets me know as a Mvskoke Citizen that our tribe cares for the elders by putting on this event, and they have really good service,” Wells said. “We really appreciate that they have something like this for us.”
For Fish, her favorite aspect of the event is bringing people together.
“It gives them a sense of connection with our people in our tribe,” Fish said. “It gives them an opportunity to come, fellowship, meet old acquaintances, and meet new friends.”
MCN Elders Services also includes senior services. Fish said if elders have any questions about these services, they are welcome to visit their department or call them at (918) 732-7765.