Cecelia Fire Thunder

From Indian Country Today, some rare glad tidings:

In one of the largest and most spectacular inaugurations in the history of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Cecelia Fire Thunder, the first woman ever to lead the nation as president began a new era….

Cecelia and Vice President Alex White Plume are fluent in the Lakota language and she said they plan to speak the language while in the offices, because, as she added, there may be solutions in the language.

The inauguration was a special event for Oglala women and for women from other tribes. A special ceremony by the women’s society distributed sacred food, or “food of the Gods,” said Rick Two Dogs, uncle to Cecelia and Oglala spiritual leader.

The food contains the spirit, mind and heart of the tribal leaders, he said.

Wilma Mankiller, the first woman to lead the Cherokee Nation as principal chief, is a special friend to Fire Thunder; the two call themselves sisters.

“It takes a strong person to stand up in Indian country,” Mankiller said.

“She [Fire Thunder] is a healer of people. She carries herself with dignity and was not elected because she is a woman. She was elected because she gets up every morning, says prayers in her language and goes out and fights for her people.”

Mankiller said Fire Thunder doesn’t accept things the way they are, which makes her optimistic about the future.

“We have survived relocations, massacres and wars and we are still standing; how can I not be optimistic,” Mankiller said.

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