Wilma is named after Wilma Mankiller, the first Female Chief of the Cherokee Nation. The American Indian Movement played an important role in Wilma’s early life. She was inspired to get involved in civil rights activism and went on to study social welfare at San Francisco University. After her time in California, she returned to Oklahoma to focus on community development, volunteering for the Cherokee Nation. As a well-known activist and writer in her community, Wilma went on to become the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation. She was able to create a jobcentre, increase the number of tribal health clinics, and bring businesses to the Cherokee jurisdiction. At this time, Wilma was admired at a national level and was appointed to be an adviser of tribal affairs to the Federal Government by President Bill Clinton. In 1998, Wilma Mankiller was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.