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Mankiller: All the Indians 'probably at Wal-Mart'

Wilma Mankiller, the first woman to be elected the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, says she's no longer surprised by the questions people ask her.

"Where are all the Indians?" one tourist reportedly asked her.

"They're probably at Wal-Mart," Mankiller said.

Mankiller, 59, tells The Oklahoman she is happy she still lives in the Cherokee Nation territory where she grew up without running water or electricity. Her mother and most of her five children and 10 grandchildren all live nearby.

"I derive my identity from my Cherokee heritage and from this land and from my family," she said outside of her home. "That basically defines who I am as a person."

Get the Story:
Wilma Mankiller reflects on journey (The Oklahoman 5/3)

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