This Day In History: 2017-12-20
December 14, 1915 – “Red Fox James Pushes for Day Honoring Indigenous Americans”
Red Fox James, also known as Red Fox Skiuhushu, presented at the White House endorsements from 24 state governments for a day to honor indigenous Americans. He rode over 4,000 miles on horseback from state to state seeking these endorsements.He was thought to be from the Blackfoot Tribe of Montana. Although Red Fox James was not successful in his bid to lobby the government to create an indigenous people’s day, it laid the groundwork for President Ronald Reagan to create American Indian Day in 1983.
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.