Wilma Mankiller
Updated: 11/24/2020
Wilma Mankiller

Storyboard Text

  • Wilma Mankiller came from a large family that spent many years on the family farm in Oklahoma. They were, of course,poor,but not desperately so.
  • "As far back as I can remember there were always books around our house,"
  • "As far back as I can remember there were always books around our house," "This love ofreading came from the traditional Cherokee passion for telling andlistening to stories. But it also came from my parents, particularly my father .
  • San Francisco
  • Unfortunately, a poor local economy made the Mankiller familyan easy target for the Bureau of Indian Affairs relocation program ofthe 1950s.In 1959 the family moved to San Francisco, where Wilma's father could get a job and where Wilma began her junior high school years. This was not ahappy time for her. she hated the school where white kids teased her about being Native American and abouther name.
  • American Indian Center
  • Mankiller decided to leave her parents and go to live with her maternal grandmother, Pearl Sitton.
  • The year she spent there restored her confidence and after returning to the Bay Area, she got incrreasingly involved with theworld of the San Francisco Indian Center.
  • American Indian Center
  • Here, Mankiller became politicized, at the 30 same time reinforcing her identity as a Cherokee and her attachmentsto the Cherokee people, their history and traditions.
  • "There was something at the Center for everyone. It was a safeplace to go, even if we only wanted to hang out."
  • The Center provided entertainment, social and cultural activities for youth, as well as aplace for adults to hold powwows and discuss matters of importance with other BIA relocatees
  • Alcatraz was Mankiller first major political action.
  • When a group of Native Americans occupied Alcatraz Island inNovember 1969, in protest of U.S. Government policies, which had,for hundreds of years, deprived them of their lands, Mankiller participated
  • Alcatraz