CORVALLIS, Ore. – Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, will speak at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25, in Gilfillan Hall at Oregon State University.
Her appearance is part of the Native American Philosophies class and lectures, a series of Wednesday evening events that bring distinguished Native American writers, performers and political leaders to OSU.
Mankiller is the author, co-author or editor of three books, “Mankiller: A Chief and Her People,” “Every Day is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women,” and “A Readers Companion to the History of Women in the U.S.”
As the leader of the Cherokee people, she represented the second largest tribe in the United States, the largest being the Dine (Navajo) Tribe. In 1983, Mankiller became the first female in modern history to lead a major Native American tribe. She served in that position until 1995, when she chose not to seek reelection. Mankiller also was the founding director of the Cherokee Nation Community Development Department, which received several national awards for innovative use of self-help in housing and water projects in low-income Cherokee communities.
Mankiller was named Ms. Magazine’s Woman of the Year in 1987. She is considered one of the most celebrated Cherokees of the 20th century. She is a 1998 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, and has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
The lecture is free and open to the public.
Native American Philosophies is sponsored by the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word; the Ethnic Studies Department; the Philosophy Department; the Native American Collaborative Institute; the Hundere Endowment for Religion and Culture; and the USDA Forest Service.