Wilma Pearl Mankiller

Wilma Pearl Mankiller
Wilma Pearl Mankiller was the first female Principle Chief of the Cherokee Nation. After a myasthenia gravis diagnosis (a condition that breaks down communication between the nerves and muscles, making it hard to speak and control the limbs), Mankiller resolved to use her life to serve others. She organized a project to construct an 18-mile-long water system and replace dangerous housing in Bell, Oklahoma, a small village on the Cherokee reservation, where residents were living in unsafe homes and lacked running water. Mankiller was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1999 for her activism.

Further reading: https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/wilma-mankiller