The U.S. Mint announced it will begin circulating a coin honoring Wilma Mankiller, the first woman elected principal chief of the Cherokee Nation and an activist for Native American and women’s rights.
The Mint will begin circulating the quarter on June 13. Mankiller’s coin is part of the American Women Quarters Program, a four-year program that celebrates the accomplishments and contributions made by women who have shaped America’s history.
Mankiller, born in 1945, moved to California as a child after drought ruined her family’s land. After encountering poverty, racism and culture shock, she returned and founded the Community Development Department for the Cherokee Nation.
She was elected chief of the Cherokee Nation in 1987 and reelected four years later.
She remained a strong voice worldwide for social justice, native people, and women, the U.S. Mint said.
Mankiller died in 2010 at the age of 64.
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