- NAME: Wilma Mankiller
- OCCUPATION: Women's Rights Activist, Political Leader
- BIRTH DATE: November 18, 1945
- DEATH DATE: April 06, 2010
- EDUCATION: Skyline College, San Francisco State University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Tahlequah, Oklahoma
- PLACE OF DEATH: Adair County, Oklahoma
- Full Name: Wilma Pearl Mankiller
- AKA: Wilma Mankiller
Best Known For
Wilma Mankiller worked for several years as a leading advocate for the Cherokee people, and became the first woman to serve as their principal chief in 1985.
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After leaving office, she continued her activism on behalf of Native Americans and women. She also taught for a short time at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
Mankiller shared her experiences as a pioneer in tribal government in her 1993 autobiography, Mankiller: A Chief and Her People. She also wrote and compiled Every Day Is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women (2004),
featuring a forward by leading feminist Gloria Steinem. For her leadership and activism, Mankiller received numerous honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998.
Wilma Mankiller died on April 6, 2010, at the age of 64, in Adair County, Oklahoma. She was survived by her second husband, Charlie Soap, whom she married in 1986.
After learning of Mankiller's passing in 2010, President Barack Obama issued a statement about legendary Cherokee chief: "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," he stated. "Her legacy will continue to encourage and motivate all who carry on her work."
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