Wilma Mankiller family Celebrates Release of Wilma Mankiller Barbie

KTUL - December 11, 2023 5:52 am

Wilma Mankiller’s daughter Felicia Olaya, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., and Wilma’s husband Charlie Soap attending the Celebration for the Wilma Mankiller Barbie in Tahlequah (Cherokee Nation).

The Cherokee Nation, Wilma Mankiller Foundation, and the family of Wilma Mankiller celebrated the Wilma Mankiller Inspiring Women Series Barbie toy.

The celebration was on Dec. 5 in Tahlequah at the Chota Conference Center.

Present at the celebration were Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr, Deputy Chief Bryan Warner, the Wilma Mankiller Foundation, Wilma Mankiller Family and Friends, the Cherokee Nation Cabinet, and the Council of Cherokee Nation.

“The addition of the Wilma Mankiller Barbie to the Inspiring Women series is not only a fitting tribute to an incredible woman, but it also serves as an inspiration and a reminder of the limitless potential there is for every Indigenous girl that has the courage to dream big,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said.

Chief Mankiller was a social justice advocate dedicated to Indigenous communities. She earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom award in 1998.

“I am very honored and pleased that in several ways my mother’s legacy is still living on,” said Felicia Olaya, Wilma’s eldest daughter. “I think that she would be very honored, and I think that her main purpose is that she wanted to leave a legacy that helped people restore faith in themselves. I just have such a warm feeling. I have two granddaughters myself, and the thought of watching them play with their great-grandmother’s Barbie just touches my heart.”

Wilma’s husband, Charlie Soap, says he is happy her legacy can carry on through this doll.

“Wilma was an extraordinary person who loved everybody and cared about everybody. She was all of what could be looked for in a person as a good leader,” said Charlie Soap. “The happiness and the well-being of the children was what Wilma and I focused on when she was still with us. So I’m happy that her legacy will be shared even more through this incredible tribute that is the Wilma Mankiller Barbie doll.”

In addition to the celebration, the Cherokee Nation gave $25,000 to the American Indian Resource Center.

Saylor Street, 7, a Cherokee Nation citizen, from Paris Arkansas attended the Wilma Mankiller Barbie celebration and brought her Wilma Mankiller Barbie in tow (Cherokee Nation). photo 2


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