Wilma Pearl Mankiller
Born November 18, 1945
Present day leaders among Indians would include former Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller.
Mankiller was the first female in modern history to lead a major Native Tribe.( 1985-1995)
Mankiller championed to improve conditions among rural commerce. And in 1990 , Chief Mankiller signed an historic Self- Governance Agreement that authorized the Cherokee Nation to administer federal funds that previously had been administered by the bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington.
Mankiller faced many obstacles during her tenure in office. Upon becoming Principal Chief, the Cherokee Nation was male- dominated. Such a structure contrasted with traditional Cherokee culture and value- system, which emphasized a balance between the two genders. Over the course of her three terms, Mankiller would make great strides to bring back that balance.
"Prior to my election, says Mankiller "young Cherokee girls would never have thought that they might grow up and become Chief."
Books she has written: A Chief and Her People
and Everyday Is a Good Day
Excerts from: American Indian Biographies edited by Harvey Markowitz and Wikipedia Encyclopedia