What Happened to Wilma Mankiller That Gave Her a Greater Understanding of Native American History?

Wilma Mankiller was a Cherokee woman who became the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. Her life was full of challenges, but it was her struggles that gave her a greater understanding of Native American history.

Early Life
Wilma Mankiller was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma in 1945. Her family lived on Indian land and struggled with poverty. When she was ten years old, her family moved to San Francisco as part of a government relocation program aimed at assimilating Native Americans into mainstream American society.

Struggles in San Francisco
Mankiller struggled to adjust to life in San Francisco. She faced discrimination and racism at school, and her family faced poverty and housing insecurity. Despite these challenges, she became involved in the civil rights movement and the fight for Native American rights.

Return to Oklahoma
In 1977, Mankiller returned to Oklahoma with her family. She became involved in local politics and worked for the Cherokee Nation. In 1985, she became the first female Deputy Chief of the tribe.

Becoming Principal Chief
In 1987, Mankiller became Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation after the previous chief resigned due to health issues. She was elected to this position in her own right later that year.

Legacy
Mankiller served as Principal Chief until 1995 when she decided not to seek re-election due to health issues. She passed away in 2010 at the age of 64.

Greater Understanding
Throughout her life, Mankiller’s struggles gave her a greater understanding of Native American history and culture. She worked tirelessly to promote Native American rights and improve conditions for indigenous people across the country.

Conclusion

Wilma Mankiller’s life is an inspiration for anyone who seeks to fight for justice and equality. Her struggles and triumphs give us a greater understanding of Native American history and the ongoing fight for Native American rights.