It's hard to know the true history of native women.
Many, if not most, of our nations were Matriarchal so of course their leadership was made up of women. However the Christian invaders could not understand it and would not deal with women leaders so they chose a male Chief and spoke only to him. The real women leaders names never appeared in the history of the tribes which was/is written by the invaders.
To pay tribute to the amazing, strong and powerful women of Native American decent, below are a few women that should be household names.
Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, also known as Bamewawagezhikaquay wrote poetry and traditional Ojibwa stories, and she translated Ojibwa songs into English. In 1826-1827 her husband created The Literary Voyager or Muzzeniegen which featured her writing. It was distributed in Detroit, New York and other eastern cities making her the first published Native American Woman.
Cecelia Fire Thunder- Lakota became the Oglala Lakota Tribe’s first woman president with strong goals to end domestic abuse and breaking the pattern of acceptance in traditional culture, and as well a leader for women’s reproductive rights. In 2006, South Dakota's state legislature prohibited abortion, Fire Thunder revealed plans to build a women’s clinic on the reservation which is beyond state jurisdiction.
Fallen Leaf also known as Woman Chief was a Crow warrior and she was considered a chief and sat in the council of chiefs. In addition to being a war leader, she was known for being a great hunter and had two wives.
Susan La Flesche graduated in 1889 at the top of her 36-woman class made history by becoming the first Native American woman doctor. She pushed for better hygiene and prevention and was the sole doctor for around 2,000 people in a massive territory of around 1,350 square miles.
Anfesia Shapsnikoff served as nurse, church reader, teacher and community leader for all Alaskans. In the Aleut communities she taught importance of culture and ownership to the people.
Toypurina was an avid leader in rebelling against the violence of widespread rape, forced labor and conversion, and the banning of traditional dances. She was known as a powerful Tongva medicine woman and when she was 25 years old and pregnant she emerged as one of the primary planners of an attack against the Spanish who had come into Southern California.