Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Edward Bennett

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This study examined leadership structure and processes in one reserve community. Forty Native subjects (21 males and 19 females) volunteered to participate in the study. Their mean age was 33.45 years (S.D. = 16.70 years), and ranged from 16-72 years. Three groups were studied: 1) Formal leaders, who currently held elected positions of chief or councilor. 2) Informal leaders, identified by community members as those people, excluding formal leaders, who help others in the community. 3) Community members presently living on the reserve. The chief and three councilors (all males) were the formal leaders. There were two male and two female informal leaders. The community members consisted of fifteen men and 17 females. Individual interviews were obtained from all participants over a one-month period, and the responses were content analyzed. Results indicate that the three groups are more interested in local issues than national ones but they disagree about the effectiveness of reserve leadership. Community members consistently identified problems of local leadership and made suggestions for its improvement. The council is seen as fragmented and not functioning as a team. The chief is perceived as lacking political power because he cannot vote in council. Overall, there is an increased degree of band autonomy, without interference from the Department of Indian Affairs. All three groups lack involvement in community activities. Implications are discussed and recommendations are suggested.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season