Former Cherokee Chief Participates In Centennial Event

Saturday, February 24th 2007, 10:56 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Former Cherokee Nation Chief Wilma Mankiller says she's no fan of the Oklahoma Centennial but agreed to give a lecture as part of the celebration to tell what the state was like before statehood.

Mankiller gave the 2007 Centennial Lecture in the Humanities and was given the first ever Oklahoma Humanities Award from the Oklahoma Humanities Council and the Historical Society.

Mankiller says there's not enough attention paid to the history of Oklahoma before it became a state in 1907 and says the centennial represents a tragic time for many Indians.

Some tribal leaders say the centennial is no time for celebration because Oklahoma became a state through the dismantling of tribal territories that had been guaranteed to Indian nations by the US government.

Mankiller says she's turned down some centennial invitations but chose to accept this one to open a line of discussion between Indians and non-Indians.