Chickasaw Cultural Center hosts Mankiller biopic screening in Oklahoma

The screenings will be followed by question-and-answer sessions with filmmakers.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: June 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm •  Published: June 21, 2013

— 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,” which will be shown in free public screenings at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Chickasaw Cultural Center's Anoli Theater.

The center is at 867 Cooper Memorial Drive in Sulphur.

The screenings 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 events that led 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.

The feature film was shot in Oklahoma in 2011.

For more information about the film, visit, and for more information about the screening, go to or call (580) 622-7138.