Widower of Wilma Mankiller 'excited' about Woman on 20s effort

Wilma Mankiller, 1945-2010, was the first woman elected to the position of principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. Photo from All Things Cherokee

Charlie Soap, the husband of the late Wilma Mankiller, is "excited" about the Women on 20s campaign.

Soap said he was surprised to learn that Mankiller, who the first woman elected to lead the Cherokee Nation, was one of four finalists chosen by the group. She was added at the last minute due to significance of having a Native candidate replace president Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

“It’s great that a Native person, especially a woman, is in the run to replace Jackson on the $20,” Soap told The Muskogee Phoenix. “I don’t often get excited, but this made me real excited.”

The group is soliciting the public's views about its final four candidates. The goal is to ask President Barack Obama for his support in putting a woman on the $20 bill by 2020, the centennial of the 19th Amendment that recognized the voting rights of women.

Wilma Mankiller and Charlie Soap Photo from Native Daughters / University of Nebraska Lincoln

“Her major contribution was great leadership,” Soap told the Phoenix of his late wife's legacy. “Not just for the Cherokee, either. She supported many tribal leaderships.”

Soap is running for chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Get the Story:
Mankiller on shortlist for vote on having her face on $20 bills (The Muskogee Phoenix 4/20)

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