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Wilma Mankiller quarter launch

Coin exchange at the Wilma Mankiller quarter launch event.

The following is an excerpt of an article by the Mint’s Office of Corporate Communications

The Wilma Mankiller quarter debuted to the public in a launch event in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, on June 6, 2022. This is the third coin released in the American Women Quarters (AWQ) Program. Approximately 800 people attended the event, and even more live-streamed it on YouTube.

In 1987, Wilma Mankiller became the first woman elected principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. Her administration focused on improving health care, education, jobs, and other community development initiatives. Under her leadership, infant mortality declined, educational levels rose, and employment doubled. After leaving office in 1995, she remained a strong voice worldwide for social justice, native people, and women.

The quarter launch, presented by BancFirst and the Cherokee Nation, was held at the Chota Conference Center. Representatives from the United States Mint, the Cherokee Nation, BancFirst, and Wilma Mankiller’s family took part in the ceremony. Attendees were welcomed to the event with traditional Cherokee flute music performed by Cherokee National Treasure, Tommy Wildcat. Special guest Breanna Olaya-Morton, Mankiller’s granddaughter, sang with the Cherokee Adult Choir and Cherokee National Youth Choir.

TV Johnson, US Mint Chief of the Office of Corporate Communications, discussed the AWQ Program and the Wilma Mankiller Quarter design.

Author and political activist Gloria Steinem also spoke to the crowd and emphasized the impact of Mankiller’s legacy. “We will be able to treasure the presence of Wilma’s image daily in our hands and in our hearts,” Steinem said.

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