Trailblazers and traditionalists?: The women who lead Minnesota’s American Indian tribes are part of the ancient custom of female leadership in the Native Nations.
Melanie Benjamin of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
by Laura Waterman Wittstock – Minnesota Women’s Press
Friday 18 July, 2008
A couple of hundred years ago women tribal leaders like Melanie Benjamin, of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Karen Diver, of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Erma Vizenor of the White Earth Tribal Council, and Jean Stacy of the Lower Sioux Indian Community might have been in charge of fishing, sugar making or rice production in their respective tribes. The ancient Ojibwe culture displayed a balance of gender roles; while the formal election of women as tribal leaders may be relatively recent, holding office is not the only exemplification of female leadership. . .
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