A Note From the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation


"When people cease waiting for great leaders or prophets to solve entrenched problems and look, instead, within themselves, trusting their own thinking, believing in their own power, and to their families and communities for solutions, change will follow. In traditional indigenous communities, there is an understanding that our lives play themselves out within a set of reciprocal relationships. If each human being in the world could fully understand that we all are interdependent and responsible for one another, it would save the world." 
—Wilma Mankiller


From: all-employees-bounces@lists.cherokee.org [mailto:all-employees-bounces@lists.cherokee.org] On Behalf Of Chad Smith
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 11:13 AM
To: All Employees (mailing list)
Subject: Wilma Mankiller

Dear Friends,
Our personal and national hearts are heavy with sorrow and sadness with the passing this morning of Wilma Mankiller, our former Principal Chief. We feel overwhelmed and lost when we realize she has left us but we should reflect on what legacy she leaves us. We are better people and a stronger tribal nation because her example of Cherokee leadership, statesmanship, humility, grace, determination and decisiveness. When we become disheartened, we will be inspired by remembering how Wilma proceeded undaunted through so many trials and tribulations. Years ago, she and her husband Charlie Soap showed the world what Cherokee people can do when given the chance, when they organized the self-help water line in the Bell community She said Cherokees in that community learned that it was their choice, their lives, their community and their future. Her gift to us is the lesson that our lives and future are for us to decide. We can carry on that Cherokee legacy by teaching our children that lesson.

Wilma asked that any gifts in her honor be made as donations to One Fire Development Corporation, a non-profit dedicated to advancing Native American communities though economic development, and to valuing the wisdom that exists within each of the diverse tribal communities around the world. Tax deductible donations can be made at www.wilmamankiller.com as well as www.onefiredevelopment.org.

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