Baylor Celebrates Women's History Month with Former Chief of the Cherokee Nation

March 31, 2008

by Katie Brooks, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Baylor University's history department will host Wilma Mankiller, former Cherokee Nation chief, discussing "The Changing Role of Indigenous Women," for the 14th annual Women's History Month lecture at 7 p.m. Monday, March 31, in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center on the Baylor campus.

"Mankiller is an influential person in Native [American] politics and activism," said Dr. Julie Sweet, associate professor of history. "She is an example of someone overcoming many adversities and triumphing in the end."

Born in Oklahoma, Mankiller's family moved to California when she was a young girl. They were forced to go as part of the Indian Removal Act. She moved back to Oklahoma in 1976, and the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma asked her to be his deputy chief in the election in 1983. Two years later, she became principal chief. She was the first female in history to lead a major Native American tribe.

Sweet said Mankiller will show students how important it is to respect other cultures but also to speak out against injustice and prejudice.

The lecture will include a question and answer session. Copies of Mankiller's book, A Chief and Her People, will be available for purchase and signing after the lecture.

For more information, please contact Sweet at Julie_Sweet@baylor.edu.

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