Mankiller in 2001
|Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation|
|Preceded by||Ross Swimmer|
|Succeeded by||Joe Byrd|
|Born||Wilma Pearl Mankiller
(1945-11-18)November 18, 1945
Tahlequah, Oklahoma, United States
|Died||April 6, 2010(2010-04-06) (aged 64)
Adair County, Oklahoma, United States
|Cause of death||Pancreatic cancer|
|Spouse(s)||Hector Hugo Olaya de Bardi (m. 1963â€“77)
Charlie Soap (m. 1986)
|Alma mater||Skyline College, San Francisco State University|
|Occupation||Writer, author, tribal chief|
I don’t think anybody anywhere can talk about the future of their people or of an organization without talking about education. Whoever controls the education of our children controls our future.
In Iroquois society, leaders are encouraged to remember seven generations in the past and consider seven generations in the future when making decisions that affect the people.
Individually and collectively, Cherokee people possess an extraordinary ability to face down adversity and continue moving forward.
A lot of young girls have looked to their career paths and have said they’d like to be chief. There’s been a change in the limits people see.
America would be a better place if leaders would do more long-term thinking.
We must trust our own thinking. Trust where we’re going. And get the job done.
There are a whole lot of historical factors that have played a part in our being where we are today, and I think that to even to begin to understand our contemporary issues and contemporary problems, you have to understand a little bit about that history.
Prior to my election, young Cherokee girls would never have thought that they might grow up and become chief.
Everybody is sitting around saying, ‘Well, jeez, we need somebody to solve this problem of bias.’ That somebody is us. We all have to try to figure out a better way to get along.
I want to be remembered as the person who helped us restore faith in ourselves.