As part of the 40thAnnual Mvskoke Festival, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation announced the 2018 Living Legends inductees.
The Living Legends induction was created in 2005 by former MCN Principal Chief A.D. Ellis.
The inductees are Muscogee (Creek) citizens who are 55 years of age or older and were nominated for their contributions to the Nation on local, national and international levels through a variety of capacities including traditional, professional, education and more.
This year’s inductees include: Scott Roberts of Oklahoma City, Okla., Thomas Yahola of Wetumka, Okla., Richard Wesley Larney of Henryetta, Okla., Edna Belcher of Eufaula, Okla., and Dr. Kelly Roberta Moore of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Roberts is being honored for his traditional Mvskoke pottery of the Late Woodland and Mississippian period. He is the last living Muscogee (Creek) who knows how to replicate this traditional artwork. He will be starting an apprenticeship mentoring other Muscogee (Creek) citizens this summer in a two to three-month training.
Roberts has received numerous awards for his work in art shows throughout the U.S.
Yahola, Mekko of Tallahassee Ceremonial Ground, retired from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and received Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Army.
He served 11 terms on the Muscogee (Creek) National Council and four terms as Speaker, as well as one term as Second Speaker. He is also the Commander of the Mvskoke Nation Honor Guard, which he established within his 27 years of service to the Nation in a variety of capacities.
Larney retired as Henryetta Chief of Police after 27 years of service and received Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Army.
Larney served on a number of boards across the MCN jurisdiction including CREOKS Mental Health Board, Lions Club, Masonic Lodge, Okmulgee County Jail Board and many others.
He also served as Henryetta Mayor for eighth years and City Councilman for six years. Larney was a Muscogee (Creek) National Council member 1978-1980 and 1982-1984, as well as Muscogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse Chief during the Chief Claude Cox Administration.
Belcher is being inducted for her service to the Nation and Eufaula community throughout her lifetime. She began her career as a cook at the Fountainhead Lodge for 20 years and then worked with Eufaula Bingo.
In 1987, she was approached by Vann McIntosh, Superintendent of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Eufaula Dormitory, to work in the kitchen. Belcher worked 27 years before retirement at the dormitory and left a loving and nurturing legacyto hundreds of children.
Belcher was a charter member of the Eufaula Indian Community and served as the first chairman, as well as 19 years as EIC Treasurer. On Oct. 27, 2016, the EIC honored Belcher by naming the EIC Nutrition Center the Edna Belcher Elder Nutrition Center for her service to the citizens, community and the Nation.
Moore has spent her medical profession contributing to the Nation and Native Americans to improve physical, mental and spiritual health. She began her career as a pediatrician working at several Indian Health Service facilities across the country serving 20 years.
Moore served as Captain in the United States Public Health Service and received a number of awards and recognitions including Association of American Indian Physician’s American Indian Physician of the Year Award, Public Health Service Crisis Response Service Award, PHS Achievement Medal, as well as many others.
She has continued her advocacy for Native American children and adults with diabetes and has helped bring national attention to the concern of Type 2 Diabetes in childhood obesity through a number of publications.
The five inductees will be honored at the Living Legend Ceremony Thursday, June 21, 2018, at 5 p.m. at the Mvskoke Dome in Okmulgee, Okla. Dinner will be served directly after the recognition.