Charlie Soap was Wilma Mankiller’s husband and community development partner for more than thirty years, as well as a leader in the Bell Waterline Project that inspired the film. Charlie is a full-blood bilingual Cherokee who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Northeastern State University. Mr. Soap has dedicated virtually his entire career to strengthening the many Cherokee communities. Since early 2002, Charlie has worked with the construction of 8 community buildings and numerous other critical self-help initiatives. Due to his accomplishments and innovative approaches to community development, Mr. Soap has received numerous awards, including the Common Cause Public Service Achievement Award, and two National Certificates of Merit from the Department of Housing and Development. Mr. Soap has lectured on the subject at Cornell University, Arizona State University Law School, the University of Maryland, Tufts University, Indiana State University, Mayo Clinic, and numerous other places.
Mr. Soap also worked with business, education and political leaders to establish the Boys and Girls Club of Tahlequah and served as its founding Director. Under Mr. Soap’s leadership, the Club operated a comprehensive summer enrichment program which Tahlequah Public Schools developed into the first after-school program in the school system. The collaboration between the Boys and Girls Club and the Tahlequah Public Schools has served as a national model.
Mr. Soap served as Director of the Cherokee Nation Community Development Department and 7 years as the Oklahoma Area Director of the Christian Children’s Fund.
Kristina Kiehl has been an organizer in the women’s movement for more than three decades. She co-founded the Political Action Committee Voters for Choice committee along with author and feminist, Gloria Steinem. Kristina created the majority of Mankiller's ad blitz during her multiple campaigns for Chief and helped develop ads and events for numerous other national political candidates, including Ann Richards, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore and others. In 2004, Kristina partnered with Gloria Steinem to organize a 1,500 mile tour in support of Democratic Party candidates in the Midwest, and in 2008, the same team traveled to Colorado and partnered with local organizations to plan nearly thirty campaign events in nine days. As a skilled photographer, she has documented some of these historic events through photography and video production. Her passion for THE CHEROKEE WORD FOR WATER and dedication to Wilma’s vision has been one of the driving forces behind this documentary.
Stacy Mahoney is proud to have been part of award winning documentaries and docu-follow series for HBO, BRAVO, CBS, Netflix, Nickelodeon and PBS. Her goal is always to tell stories that expand understanding and increase awareness.