Wilma Mankiller’s historic journey to become the first modern female Chief of the Cherokee Nation is told in the feature film, The Cherokee Word for Water.
Free public screenings of the film at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 22 and 23 at the Chickasaw Cultural Center’s Anoli Theater (867 Cooper Memorial Drive, Sulphur) will be followed by question-and-answer sessions with filmmakers Charlie Soap (director/producer) and Kristina Kiehl (co-writer and producer).
The Cherokee Word for Water chronicles the journey that led Wilma Mankiller to become Chief of the Cherokee Nation and how the Cherokee people used traditional American Indian values-“gadugi”- to work together to solve a problem. “Gadugi” is the Cherokee word for when people come together to take care of one another and see the job through to the end.
Set in the early 1980s, the screenplay was inspired by the Bell Waterline Project, which was the subject of national media coverage. Bell is located southeast of Tahlequah, Okla.
The feature film, shot in Oklahoma in 2011, celebrates the courage and determination of a resilient people and a pioneering woman in Mankiller and focuses on the cultural assets of American Indians. It seeks to help reshape the public perception of Native people.
For more information about the film, visit www.cw4w.com, and for more information about the screening, visit www.ChickasawCulturalCenter.com or phone 580-622-7138.