About This Episode

This is the story of an American hero, an American legend. Someone who humbly defied the odds and overcame insurmountable obstacles to fight injustice and gave a voice to the voiceless. And yet few people know her name. Mankiller examines the legacy of the formidable Wilma Mankiller, who overcame rampant sexism and personal challenges to emerge as the Cherokee Nation’s first woman Principal Chief in 1985.

As a young girl, Mankiller’s family was relocated from Oklahoma to San Francisco. It was in the California Bay Area that she gained valuable life experience during the turbulent '60s, being active with the Black Panthers and the Alcatraz Occupation. She brought this passion back to her people and became a unique servant leader and community organizer reigniting faith in themselves. Mankiller served three terms as the Cherokee’s highest leader, laying important foundations for the current Cherokee Nation’s economic and cultural status as one of the most successful tribes in America.

A stalwart activist for women's rights, Wilma Mankiller was cited by the organizers of the January 2017 Women's March on Washington as one of the most important leaders in America's movement for equality. And yet, most people still don’t know her name. Mankiller reminds audiences of the true meaning of servant leadership and serves as a wakeup call to take action for positive change.