November 9, 2023
Barbie is recognizing Wilma Mankiller as the newest addition to the Barbie Inspiring Women series in advance of her birthday, Nov. 18.
Wilma was the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation and an advocate for social justice. As a social worker who dedicated herself to empowering indigenous communities, Wilma worked to make the world brighter for future generations, earning the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998.
As principal chief, Wilma revitalized the Nations tribal government, and advocated relentlessly for improved healthcare and housing services. Under her 10-year leadership, infant mortality declined and educational achievement rose in the Cherokee Nation – whose population more than doubled, from 68,000 to 170,000 during her tenure.
Barbie worked closely with Mankiller’s family and friends, including Mankiller’s former husband, Charlie Soap, and friend, Kristina Kiehl, as well as Mankiller’s estate and the Cherokee Nation, to sculpt a doll in proper reflection of her likeness.
The Wilma Mankiller doll is available on the Mattel website now.
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