First Nation Leaders

Canada's First Nations all had complex social systems, with several levels of government based on the family, the band or clan, and the nation or tribe.

Their leaders, or Chiefs, were chosen in different ways, but were always people who had special leadership qualities that brought them respect from their people.

In most First Nations, a council of elders advised the Chief, and decisions were made by consensus, which means that the council would discuss a matter of importance, and then would make a decision that the majority agreed on.

First Nations recognized each other as sovereign nations, and made friendship treaties, or military alliances with each other. Some nations were traditional enemies, and went through periods of war or peace.



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