Wilma Mankiller

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by MufasaTheGreat
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Wilma Mankiller

Wilma Mankiller

Introduction VideoThe Cherokee Word For WaterBackground Video

Wilma was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma on November 18th, 1945, and died April 6th, 2010. She was half blooded (her father full and her mother none), and recieved her fathers traditional Cherokee military name of Mankiller. Wilma got married in 1962, had to daughters, was divoreced in 1977, then married Charlie Soap, who is a full-blooded Cherokee, in 1986.

Ms. Magazine's Women of the Year 1987Presidential Medal of FreedomNational Women's Hall of Fame 1993

"As one woman's journey, Mankiller opens the heart. As the history of a people, it informs the mind. Together, it teaches us that, as long as people like Wilma Mankiller carry the flame within them, centuries of ignorance and genocide can't extinguish the human spirit."-Gloria Steinem

In 1983 Wilma was elected deputy chief to Chief Swimmer. In 1985 Swimmer resigned, and Wilma succeeded him. She was elected in her own campain in 1987, and re-elected in 1991.

First femal chief of Cherokee Nation

At the time that Wilma became chief, the Cherokee Nation leadership was male-dominated which was weird because it contrdicted the traditional Cherokee culture and value system. During her three terms, Wilma reinvigorated the Cherokee Nation through community development projects where men and women worked together for the common good. Wilma also managed to improve federal-tribe negotiations. After her trms as chief, Wilma took a teaching position as Darthmouth College, and earned an honorary degree in 1991.

"I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Wilma Mankiller today. As the Cherokee Nation’s first female chief, she transformed the Nation-to-Nation relationship between the Cherokee Nation and the Federal Government, and served as an inspiration to women in Indian Country and across America. A recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, she was recognized for her vision and commitment to a brighter future for all Americans. Her legacy will continue to encourage and motivate all who carry on her work. Michelle and I offer our condolences to Wilma’s family, especially her husband Charlie and two daughters, Gina and Felicia, as well as the Cherokee Nation and all those who knew her and were touched by her good works."

Left: a few awards Wilma wonRight: a documentary from Wilma's P.O.V.

-President Obama


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