TAHLEQUAH, Okla. —A limited number of the 2022 Wilma Mankiller Quarters will be released to the public on June 6.
The “Wilma Mankiller Quarter Release and Celebration” ceremony begins at 10 a.m. at the Cherokee National Capital Museum in Tahlequah. The ceremony will include many special guests including senior officials from the U.S. Mint and noted friends of Mankiller, including writer and feminist leader Gloria Steinem.
Mankiller was the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation.
“Chief Mankiller was the voice that first elevated Native American tribes and tribal issues in this country and served as the first female Chief in a role dominated by men during a time that the Cherokee Nation was first getting its footing after decades of suppression by the U.S. Government,” Chief Hoskin said in a prepared statement.
Mankiller fought for civil rights and equality, and self-sufficiency for the Cherokee people, and was the anchor establishing what has now become the largest tribal health care system in the country, he said.
The quarter features Mankiller in a gaze to the future, with the wind at her back, and she is wrapped in a traditional shawl. To her left is the seven-pointed star of the Cherokee Nation which includes “Cherokee Nation” in the Cherokee Syllabary.
Mankiller was elected chief in 1987 and serve two terms. She tripled the tribe’s enrollment, doubled employment, and built new housing, health centers, and children’s programs in the Cherokee Nation Reservation. Her leadership on social and financial issues made the Cherokee Nation a national role model.
“Traditionally women have had an important leadership role in our Indian Nations, so we are deeply honored for Wilma to be recognized along with the other great women selected to be represented on the quarter,” said Charlie Soap, Wilma’s widower, executive of her trust and a former Director of Community Programs during her term as Chief of the Cherokee Nation.
“This coin’s design reflects the strength and determination it took for Wilma Mankiller to become the first woman elected principal chief of the Cherokee Nation and to fight for Native American and women’s rights,” said Ventris C. Gibson, United States Mint Deputy Director
The Wilma Mankiller Quarter is the third quarter released in the Mint’s American Women Quarters™ Program. Two other Cherokee Nation citizens, Mary Golda Ross and Sequoyah have coins in their names.
The public will be able to purchase Wilma Mankiller Quarters following the ceremony. Each roll has been prepared under the authority of the U.S. Mint and will be a cash-only sale and will continue until the supply is exhausted or at day’s end.
Mankiller received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998 and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993.