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Wilma Pearl Mankiller was the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. A liberal member of the Democratic Party, she served as principal chief for ten years from 1985 to 1995. She is the author of a national-bestselling autobiography, Mankiller: A Chief and Her People and co-authored Every Day Is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women.

Mankiller’s administration founded the Cherokee Nation Community Development Department and saw a population increase of Cherokee Nation citizens from 55,000 to 156,000

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