Opinion: Wilma Mankiller inspired men, women, children
"I write this tribute to former Cherokee Nation Chief Wilma Mankiller with sadness and great humility. All readers know of her passing from this realm on April 6. For those of you who know a little more about her, I offer this commentary. Her biographical data and historical accomplishments you can read elsewhere.

I first came to know the Mankiller when I was a new woman legislator at a time when there were only 12 women in the 149-member combined body of both the Oklahoma House and Senate. I honored her as chief. When I ran for governor of Oklahoma in 1998, she took particular interest and was of great support and mentoring. Since that time, we worked together on national platforms in support of women and were voices for the underrepresented in elections for the highest offices in the country. In each and every encounter she was steady, clear, gentle, firm and giving.

Chief Mankiller’s life contains gifts and learning for us all.

To younger women, those of you 35 and under, Mankiller shows us how to obtain our dreams. She is an example of success much removed from the popular ideals of media stars and “showbiz.” She shows us how to thrive in the worlds of wife, mother and career simultaneously. She is a figure of history that future generations will study, yet she shared a portion of your time on earth. She imparts to all of us an obligation and an opportunity to show our daughters and sons how to live what is most important to us."

Get the Story:
Laura Boyd: Remembering Chief Wilma Mankiller (The Oklahoman Gazette 4/14)

Relevant Documents:
CNO Press Release | White House Statement | DOI Statement

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