Women have always played an integral part in decisions, such as when the tribe moved from one place to another and even who was selected to certain societies. Not until modern times have women been selected to take the position of "Chief" and been given equal stature to men in their tribes. Recent examples have been Wilma Mankiller of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and Marge Anderson of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Sky Woman was the first to appear in the Creation stories of Eastern tribes, whereas for Plains tribes it was Buffalo Calf Woman who became the spiritual guide. By most standards and amongst most tribes, women made the decisions due to their knowledge as keepers of tradition and ceremony and their demeanor; women were the decision makers and the men carried out the decision and received the credit. Women were also held in the highest esteem due to their sole power of procreation.
Indian Country Today is a nonprofit news organization. Will you support our work?
All of our content is free. There are no subscriptions or costs. And we have hired more Native journalists in the past year than any news organization ─ and with your help we will continue to grow and create career paths for our people. Support Indian Country Today for as little as $10.