Wilma Mankiller’s work for the Cherokee Nation helped to create a flourishing economy, an increased sense of pride, and a renewed sense of community for the residents of the nation over the twenty years that followed.
This is the first biography of Wilma Mankiller written for an adult audience. Incorporating aspects of federal Indian policy and Cherokee History, chapters explore Mankiller’s involvement at the Indian Center, her interactions with other Indian activists, and her participation in the occupation of Alcatraz Island in 1969 and the Pit River tribes struggle in the early 1970s. Also covered is Cherokee history from the 1830s concerning the Trail of Tears and its impact on Cherokee identity.
Chronological organization allows readers to discover Mankiller’s growth and development from a student activist in San Francisco to a Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation in rural northeastern Oklahoma. The book explores the themes of land, education, community, identity, treaty rights and sovereignty, and traditional tribal knowledge.
- Offers readers an understanding of contemporary Native American experiences and constant struggles
- Explains Mankiller’s leadership style that produced remarkable results in the face of budget cuts
- Reveals the importance of maintaining cultural values in helping instill pride and personal responsibility in Indian communities
- Reminds readers of the importance of community involvement