Monday, May 30, 2016
Mankiller: A Chief and Her People
I highly recommend Mankiller: A Chief and Her People, written by Wilma Mankiller and Michael Wallis, a fascinating autobiography of Mankiller's life interwoven with her engaging telling of the history of the Cherokee people. Mankiller spent her early childhood in Oklahoma before her family moved to San Francisco as part of the Bureau of Indian Affair's relocation plan. Mankiller became an activist in the 1960s in San Francisco, got very involved in working to support the Native American community, was part of the Alcatraz Island occupation, and eventually went on to work for the Cherokee Nation, and made history by becoming the first female leader of a major Native American tribe (the Cherokee tribe is the second largest tribe in the U.S., after the Navajo tribe). She was a champion of education, gender equality and creating economic opportunities for women, indigenous solutions, health access, job creation, and worked tirelessly for the rights of the Cherokee people as well as other indigenous groups. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Clinton in 1998. This was a very interesting, well written book, by and about an inspiring leader!