Treasures, Treasuries, and Thoughts

I swore I would never do a blog! So much for swearing. I didn't think that I would have much to say or share. I was wrong! I have been so blessed with a wonderful family, loyal friends, sharing colleagues, and the support from so many that I will never run out of topics to write about.

I have opened an on-line store at a place called Etsy (rhymes with Betsy). The items on the left are available for purchase there. These will change from week to week to show you my latest creations. The link to the store is in the upper left corner of this page.

I also have items for sale listed on Art Fire. The link to my Art Fire Studio is

I hope you will visit this blog, my Flickr page ( and my Etsy and/or Art Fire stores often. (

So come along on my Trail of Treasures! It will be a Spirit Journey for me and I invite you to join me on the trip.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wilma Pearl Mankiller

Wilma Pearl Mankiller was both the first woman deputy chief and the first woman principal chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma..

Wilma was born at Tahlequah, the capitol of the Cherokee Nation in November 1945, and lived at Mankiller Flats until she was ten years old. Her father, Charlie Mankiller, was a Cherokee, and her mother, Irene Mankiller, was of Dutch Irish decent. Mankiller grew up with four sisters and six brothers. She overcame many personal hardships and returned home to Mankiller Flats, Oklahoma, to establish herself as a political powerhouse working for the betterment of all people.

The Native community was saddened by this e-mail from Charlie Soap, Wilma’s husband:

Charlie Soap regrets to announce his wife Wilma Mankiller has been diagnosed with stage IV Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer. Mankiller is an author, lecturer and former Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. Mankiller has served 12 years in elective office at the Cherokee Nation, the first two as Deputy Principal Chief followed by 10years as Principal Chief. She retired from public office in 1995. Among her many honors, Mankiller has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Clinton. Soap requests that the public respect the family's privacy during this time.

As many of you know we have a Native American forum thread on Etsy to promote the Native American spirit and arts. When I received this news, I posted it there as well as in other team forum threads.

One of the frequent and beloved contributors to our NA thread, Taxcoandmore, was so touched that she created a wonderful treasury of Native American art on Etsy as a tribute to Wilma and those of us who grieve her condition. Here is the featured art:
Wado Taxcoandmore! Please visit her store at
Perhaps you could leave a "heart" for her store. It would be a nice “Wado” for her taking the time to honor this great woman.

This morning I received this e-mail written by Wilma.

"I decided to issue this statement because I want my family and friends to know that I am mentally and spiritually prepared for this journey; a journey that all human beings will take at one time or another.

I learned a long time ago that I can't control the challenges the Creator sends my way but I can control the way I think about them and deal with them.

On balance, I have been blessed with an extraordinarily rich and wonderful life, filled with incredible experiences. And I am grateful to have a support team composed of loving family and friends.

I will be spending my time with my family and close friends and engaging in activities I enjoy. It's been my privilege to meet and be touched by thousands of people in my life and I regret not being able to deliver this message personally to so many of you.”
Wilma Mankiller

Wilma served as a wonderful example of leadership and compassion during her life time. She faced issues head long and continues to do so. She demonstrated that one inspired woman can make a gigantic difference in the lives of others. She is now serving as a wonderful example for those entering the next phase of their journey. Bless you, Wilma, for all that you have done and know that your light will serve as a beacon to us for many years to come.


Marie S said...

What a wonderful tribute to an amazing woman Joni!
My thoughts and prayers are with you and Wilma.
Thank you for introducing me to her light.

heronkate said...

Thanks so much for sharing the email from Wilma Mankiller. Her great strength and faith is beautiful, and will be a blessing to her family as they go through this transition.

Theresa said...

This is an incredible tribute to a woman I have long admired. She is indeed a beacon for all of us. Thanks for sharing this information about Wilma Mankiller.

On a Whimsey said...

A wonderful tribute to an amazing person. Thoughts and prayers from across the Pond to Wilma and her family.

Julie G. said...

I read "God gives you the 'gift' of your life, you give back your life as a 'gift' to Him". God is with you always.

Heartworks said...

What an amazing, powerful woman. Thank you Joni and Taxco for the tribute.
Heartfelt blessings and love to Wilma and family.
Thanks to Wilma for sharing her strength and wisdom.

Judy Nolan said...

What a lovely tribute!

Brenda said...

What a wonderful tribute to a powerful person.

She has had such an impact on so many.

Feathery blessings for a safe journey.

VisionWise said...

I appreciate this post a lot and sympathize with Wilma and her family and friends... I love your tributes and stories... Thank you for sharing J... ♥