TULSA, Okla. — A commemorative quarter honoring Wilma Mankiller is being released today. An event is being held in Tahlequah at the Cherokee National Capitol Museum to celebrate the release of the quarter.
"Traditionally women have had an important leadership role in our Indian Nations, so we are deeply honored for Wilma to be recognized along with the other great women selected to be represented on the quarter," said Charlie Soap, Wilma's widower, executive of her trust and a former Director of Community Programs during her term as Chief of the Cherokee Nation.
This is a part of the American Women Quarters Program that "celebrates the accomplishments and contributions made by women to the development and history of our country," according to the U.S. Mint.
The quarters bearing Mankiller's likeness will be on sale inside the museum after the ceremony.
The ceremony will include many special guests including Cherokee Nation leaders, senior officials from the U.S. Mint, and noted friends of Mankiller, including writer and feminist leader Gloria Steinem.
Current Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. gave this statement ahead of the release of Mankiller's quarter:
"Chief Mankiller was the voice that first elevated Native American tribes and tribal issues in this country and served as the first female Chief in a role dominated by men during a time that the Cherokee Nation was first getting its footing after decades of suppression by the U.S. Government. While we defend our sovereignty today, she was the pioneer who stood firmly for tribal sovereignty and treaty rights four decades earlier. She fought for civil rights and equality, and self-sufficiency for the Cherokee people, and was the anchor establishing what has now become the largest tribal health care system in the country. We are so proud she is forever honored on this coin by the U.S. Mint."
According to the U.S. Mint, only two other Cherokee Nation citizens, Mary Golda Ross and Sequoyah, have coins in their names.
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