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Wilma Mankiller

  • The so-called Columbus discovery, which is indeed a myth, launched an era of cultural decimation and murder. Columbus and those who followed him are responsible for genocide, slavery, colonialism, cultural plunder, and environmental destruction. There was no 'discovery.' Nor was it an 'encounter.' That is also wrong. The 'discovery' was, in fact, wholesale rape, theft, and murder.

  • My ability to survive personal crises is really a mark of the character of my people. Individually and collectively, we react with a tenacity that allows us again and again to bounce back from adversity.

    • Wilma Mankiller,
    • in Melissa Schwarz, Wilma Mankiller: Principal Chief of the Cherokees ()
  • Recognizing the good, not just in one's own personal circumstances, but in the world, makes anything possible. When I am asked about the important characteristics of leadership, being of good, positive mind is at the top of my list. If a leader can focus on the meritorious characteristics of other people and try to play to their strengths as well as find value in even the most difficult situation, she can inspire hope and faith in others and motivate them to move forward.

    • Wilma Mankiller,
    • in Marlo Thomas and Friends, The Right Words at the Right Time ()
  • Negative thoughts were treated by Cherokee healers with the same medicines as wounds, headaches, or physical illness. It was believed that unchecked negative thoughts can permeate the being and manifest themselves in negative actions.

  • I've run into more discrimination as a woman than as an Indian.

    • Wilma Mankiller
  • A lot of young girls have looked to their career paths and have said they'd like to be chief. There's been a change in the limits people see.

    • Wilma Mankiller

Wilma Mankiller, Cherokee-U.S. writer, activist, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation

(1945 - 2010)

Full name: Wilma Pearl Mankiller.