This chapter focusses on sociopolitical power in native North American societies. 1 The extent of this power is not the same as that in Western societies where leadership is often impersonal and politics can be far removed from everyday life. Chiefs and tribal leaders in native societies fulfill different cultural roles than leaders in non-native societies; moral obligations and direct ties to a shared past closely bind native leaders and their constituents. The societies included in this chapter are native North American cultures that are predominantly “tribal” in their political organization. Historical accounts usually refer to all native leaders as “chief,” whereas anthropologists employ that term specifically for leaders of relatively complex, stratified societies. Examples of women leaders are drawn from a wide range of North American cultures, including the anthropological categories of “band,” “tribe,” and “chiefdom,” to demonstrate both the wide geographic distribution of this institution and also the time depth involved.