First Advisor

Spangel, Michael

Second Advisor

Collins, Robert


College for Professional Studies

Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Humanities & Social Sciences

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access


This project has been completed through a multi-level stage using the following applications: examination of comprehensive examination of gender equality in Tlingit society (traditional and contemporary) using historical and descriptive research. The Tlingit tribe continues the custom of matrilineal descent (familial lineage is determined through mother) decided clan affiliation, inheritance and disbursal of wealth, tribal and clan leadership. Tlingit culture still continues to be divided into two matrilineal moieties, Raven and Eagle (Wolf). Throughout traditional into present-day Tlingit culture, both men and women continue to be treated equally. The role of Tlingit women include are educating the young, conducting business in the tribal and public sectors and lastly, working to change public policy at the local, state and federal levels of government. Seven Tlingit women leaders (ages from 26 to 87 years old) participated in this qualitative study, which examined influences, challenges and experiences they encountered during their lifetimes. The intent of this researcher focused in the qualities of leadership developed in each participant. Through the use of a questionnaire and a semi-structured interview from each participant resulted in a collection of data. Examination of each participant"â„¢s family histories and personal experiences has influenced who they are. This study has focused on how these Tlingit women"â„¢s experiences of family/tribal roles, education and life, opportunities as well as barriers, their role models and/or mentors who have shaped their lives. Last to be examined was the participants"â„¢ own definition of leadership and their personal and social concerns (specifically role of education, land and cultural preservation, tribal autonomy). These Tlingit women are well-known and respected for their involvement in numerous areas of Business, Management, Politics (at local, state and federal levels). The data collected from these seven participants"â„¢ revealed commonalities and how they have shaped their leadership qualities.

Date of Award

Fall 2011

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

Rights Statement

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