Cherokee Nation Chief Chuck Hoskin is calling for the removal of President Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill and replace him with the late tribal leader Wilma Mankiller.
“We have a history and there are dark chapters, and we shouldn’t forget them, but we have a bright future,” Hoskin told “Axios on HBO.” “Part of that bright future is to reach back into our history, secure our rights, take them forward.”
Hoskin said he is going to Washington and wants federal officials to be held accountable for Jackson’s signing the 1835 Treaty of New Echota, which was ratified by the Senate. The treaty forced the Cherokee Nation to move from Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee to present-day Oklahoma, according to Axios, in what became known as the Trail of Tears.
The Trail of Tears cost one-quarter of the Cherokee Nation’s population their lives, according to the report.
Mankiller, who died in 2010, was first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.
Mankiller is a controversial name for a U.S. currency symbol, but it does not literally mean ”killer of men,” according to the National Women’s History Museum.
“The surname ‘Mankiller,’ Asgaya-dihi [Cherokee syllabary: ᎠᏍᎦᏯᏗᎯ] in the Cherokee language, refers to a traditional Cherokee military rank, like a captain or major,” according to its website.
The move to take Jackson’s portrait off the $20 and replace it with that of a female leader was first supported by the Obama administration, which proposed abolitionist Harriet Tubman.
“I think Wilma Mankiller would be a great replacement,” Hoskin told Axios.
In 2019, then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin delayed a design concept of a new face for the $20 bill from 2020 to 2026.
Former President Donald Trump had an Andrew Jackson portrait in his Oval Office, calling him a “great general” and a “great president, but a controversial president.”
The treaty Jackson signed called for the appointment of a non-voting House delegate to represent Native Americans, something that has been on hold for the past 180 years.
“I think there’s still some discussions that need to take place,” Kim Teehee, picked to serve as the delegate for the Cherokee Nation, told Axios, noting that others want to discuss the returning of the Black Hills, which includes Mount Rushmore, to the Oglala Lakota.
“They feel that there was a great injustice and that they deserve their land back, and they are right to feel that way. I don’t think anybody else can stand in their shoes and tell them that that’s not the case,” Teehee said.
“I am absolutely sympathetic to the history of the great Sioux Nation, but I would want to work with them directly.”