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History Spotlight

  • November 22, 2017
    November 18, 1945 - "Wilma Mankiller, First Female Chief of the Cherokee Nation, is Born" Wilma Mankiller, who served as the Chief of the Cherokee Nation for ten years from 1985 to 1995, was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. In 1985, Mankiller became the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation. Before serving in this capacity, she served as the deputy chief of the Cherokee Nation for two years, getting elected to the post in 1983. Mankiller became the Chief when Ross Swimmer died in 1985, but was elected to the post in 1987 and then reelected in 1991. Under the U.S. federal policy of Native American self-determination, Mankiller improved federal-tribal negotiations.

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