Letter to the Editor: Wilma’s legacy
BY Nancy Gladden, Sapulpa
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
I was one of many who attended the
Circle Cinema for the Nov. 30 sold-out
premier of the film, “The Cherokee
Word for Water.” What a wonderful
movie tribute to the late Principal Chief
Wilma Mankiller of the Cherokee Nation
and one of the many things she
did to improve the lives of her people.
This is a truly inspirational film and I
encourage anyone interested to see it.
There were several cast members along
with Wilma’s husband, Charlie Soap,
and producer Kristina Kiehl in attendance.
The story begins well before Wilma
became principal chief when she and
Soap (who later became her husband)
worked together to bring a waterline
to the Indian community of Bell in the
Wilma arranged funding from the
tribe to supply the equipment and supplies
needed to lay 18 miles of pipe in
rugged, rocky terrain. She and Charlie
convinced the citizens of the Bell community
to provide the volunteer labor
to lay the line.
The Cherokee word that made this
a reality is “gadugi.” Gadugi means
“working together” — a cooperative labor
within the community.
This is truly an inspirational movie
with a wonderful cast.
Now if we could get our politicians to
watch this and put gadugi in their vocabulary
and stop this bipartisan bickering
and do what’s best for “we the
people.” We are all responsible and accountable
for our future.
Thanks, Wilma and Charlie, for making
it a better world to live in.
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