READ List of Famous Tribal Chiefs

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List of famous tribal chiefs, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top tribal chiefs in the world? This includes the most prominent tribal chiefs, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable tribal chiefs is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic tribal chiefs were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned tribal chiefs.

This list has a variety of people in it, from Crazy Horse to Geronimo.

From reputable, prominent, and well known tribal chiefs to the lesser known tribal chiefs of today, these are some of the best professionals in the tribal chief field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous tribal chiefs ever?" and "What are the names of famous tribal chiefs?" then you're in the right place. (163 items)

Wilma Mankiller is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Wilma Pearl Mankiller was the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. She served as principal chief for ten years from 1985 to 1995. She is the author of a national-bestselling autobiography, ...more

Crazy Horse is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Crazy Horse, literally "His-Horse-Is-Crazy"; c. 1840 – September 5, 1877 was a Native American war leader of the Oglala Lakota. He took up arms against the U.S. Federal government to ...more

Geronimo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Geronimo was a prominent leader of the Bedonkohe Apache who fought against Mexico and Texas for their expansion into Apache tribal lands for several decades during the Apache Wars. ...more

Charles Thompson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Charles Thompson Charles Thompson was born to a full-blood Cherokee father and a white mother in the Southeastern United States. According to one writer, the mother had been kidnapped at a young age and raised ...more

Chad
Chadwick "Corntassel" Smith is the former Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. He was first elected in 1999. Smith was re-elected to a second term as Chief in 2003 and a third term ...more

Chief Dan George is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Chief Dan George, OC was a chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, a Coast Salish band whose Indian reserve is located on Burrard Inlet in the southeast area of the District of North Vancouver, ...more

Sitting Bull is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Sitting Bull was a Hunkpapa Lakota holy man who led his people as a tribal chief during years of resistance to United States government policies. He was killed by Indian agency police on the ...more

Red Cloud is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Red Cloud was a war leader and a chief of the Oglala Lakota. He led as a chief from 1868 to 1909. One of the most capable Native American opponents the United States Army faced, he led a ...more

Santa Anna is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Santa Anna was a Native American War Chief of the Penateka tribe of the Comanche Indians.

Pushmataha is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Pushmataha, the "Indian General", was one of the three regional chiefs of the major divisions of the Choctaw in the 19th century. Many historians considered him the "greatest of ...more

Major Ridge is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Major Ridge, The Ridge was a Cherokee leader, a member of the tribal council, and a lawmaker. As a warrior, he fought in the Chickamauga Wars against American frontiersmen. Later, Major Ridge ...more

Touch the Clouds is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Touch the Clouds was a chief of the Minneconjou Teton Lakota known for his bravery and skill in battle, physical strength and for his diplomacy in counsel. The youngest son of Lone Horn, he was ...more

Enoch Kelly Haney is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Enoch Kelly Haney is an American politician and internationally recognized Native American artist from Oklahoma, He served as principal chief of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma from 2005 until ...more

American Horse is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
American Horse was an Oglala Lakota chief, statesman, educator and historian. American Horse is notable in American history as a U.S. Army Indian Scout and a progressive Oglala Lakota leader who ...more

Pontiac is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Pontiac, or Obwandiyag, was an Ottawa war chief who became noted for his role in Pontiac's War, an American Indian struggle against British military occupation of the Great Lakes region and ...more

Black Kettle is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Chief Black Kettle born to the Northern Só'taeo'o / Só'taétaneo'o band of the Northern Cheyennes in the Black Hills, later he married into the Wotápio / Wutapai band ...more

Joe Byrd is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Joe Byrd was the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1995 to 1999. Byrd is bilingual, with an ability to communicate in both Cherokee and English. He ran for re-election in 1999, but ...more

White Bull is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
White Bull was the nephew of Sitting Bull, and a famous warrior in his own right. White Bull participated in the Battle of the Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876. For years it was rumored that ...more

Ross Swimmer is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Ross O. Swimmer is the Special Trustee for American Indians at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Swimmer attended the University of Oklahoma, where he received both his Bachelor of Arts and ...more

Mushulatubbee is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Mushulatubbee Mushulatubbee was the chief of the Choctaw Okla Tannap, one of the three major Choctaw divisions during the early 19th century. When the Principal Chief Greenwood LeFlore stayed in Mississippi ...more

Gall is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Gall Gall Lakota Phizí, was a battle leader of the Hunkpapa Lakota in the long war against the United States. He was also one of the commanders in the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Lone Horn is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Lone Horn Lone Horn, also called One Horn, born in present day South Dakota, was chief of the Minneconjou Lakota. Lone Horn's sons were Spotted Elk and Touch the Clouds, and Crazy Horse was his nephew. He ...more

William Alchesay is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
William Alchesay Alchesay was a chief of the White Mountain Apache tribe and an Indian Scout. He received the United States military's highest decoration for bravery, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during ...more

Mangas Coloradas is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Mangas Coloradas Mangas Coloradas, or Dasoda-hae was an Apache tribal chief and a member of the Mimbreño division of the Central Apaches, whose homeland stretched west from the Rio Grande to include most ...more

Spotted Elk is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Spotted Elk Spotted Elk, was the name of a chief of the Miniconjou, Lakota Sioux. He was a son of Miniconjou chief Lone Horn and became a chief upon his father's death. He was a highly renowned chief with ...more

William Holland Thomas is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
William Holland Thomas William Holland Thomas was Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and was elected as North Carolina state senator, serving from 1848-1860. As a youth, he worked at the trading ...more

Spotted Tail is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Spotted Tail Siŋté Glešká was a Brulé Lakota tribal chief. Although a great warrior in his youth, and having taken part in the Grattan massacre, he declined to participate in Red Cloud's ...more

George Henry Martin Johnson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
George Henry Martin Johnson George Henry Martin Johnson was a member of the Wolf clan and selected as a hereditary chief of the Mohawk of the Six Nations in Canada; he also served as an official interpreter and informal ...more

John Brown is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
John Frippo Brown, a Seminole of the Tiger Clan, was a Confederate States Army officer during the American Civil War. He was elected by the tribal council as the last principal chief of the ...more

John Ross is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
John Ross John Ross, also known as Guwisguwi, was the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1828–1866, serving longer in this position than any other person. Described as the Moses of his people, ...more

Crowfoot is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Crowfoot or Isapo-Muxika was a chief of the Siksika First Nation. His parents, Istowun-eh'pata and Axkahp-say-pi, were Kainai. He was only five when Istowun-eh'pata was killed during a raid on ...more

Red Jacket is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Red Jacket Red Jacket was a Native American Seneca orator and chief of the Wolf clan. He negotiated on behalf of his nation with the new United States after the American Revolutionary War, when the Seneca ...more

Greenwood LeFlore is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Greenwood LeFlore or Greenwood Le Fleur was elected Principal Chief of the Choctaw in 1830 before removal. Before that, the nation was governed by three district chiefs and a council of chiefs. ...more

Lone Wolf is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Lone Wolf Lone Wolf the Younger was a Kiowa. Lone Wolf the Younger was a warrior named Mamay-day-te. In 1872, Mamay-day-te saved the son of Old Chief Lone Wolf, Gui-pah-gah, the Elder, during a skirmish ...more

Cochise is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Cochise Cochise was leader of the Chihuicahui local group of the Chokonen and principal chief of the Chokonen band of the Chiricahua Apache. He led an uprising against the Mexican government that began ...more

Chief Ouray is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Chief Ouray Ouray was a Native American chief of the Uncompahgre band of the Ute tribe, then located in western Colorado. Because of his leadership ability, Ouray was also acknowledged by the United States ...more

Micanopy is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Micanopy Micanopy, also known as Micco-Nuppe, Michenopah, Miccanopa, Mico-an-opa and Sint-chakkee, was the leading chief of the Seminoles who led the tribe during the Second Seminole War.

W. W. Keeler is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
W. W. Keeler William Wayne Keeler is best known as the last appointed and first elected Principal Chief of the Cherokee nation in the 20th Century. Educated as a chemical engineer, he worked for Phillips ...more

Kpana Lewis is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Kpana Lewis Kpana Lewis was a Sherbro chief from Sierra Leone and an opponent of colonial rule of the British. He exercised strong influence over all Sherbro chiefs. Part of his fame rested in his pervasive ...more

Victorio is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Victorio Victorio was a warrior and chief of the Warm Springs band of the Tchihendeh division of the central Apaches in what is now the American states of New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and the Mexican ...more

Iron Jacket is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Iron Jacket Iron Jacket was a Native American War Chief and Chief of the Comanche Indians. Pohebits-quasho was a Comanche chieftain and medicine man whom the Comanche believed had the power to blow bullets ...more

Little Crow is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Little Crow Little Crow was a chief of the Mdewakanton Dakota people. His given name translates as "His Red Nation," but he was known as Little Crow because of his grandfather's name, ...more

John Brant is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
John Brant or Ahyonwaeghs was a Mohawk chief and government official in Upper Canada. Brant was born near the current site of Brantford, Ontario, the son of Joseph Brant and Catharine Croghan ...more

Dohäsan is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Dohäsan Dohäsan, Dohosan, Tauhawsin, Tohausen, or Touhason was a prominent Native American. He was War Chief of the Kata or Arikara band of the Kiowa Indians, and then Principal Chief of the entire ...more

Manuelito is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Manuelito Manuelito was one of the principal war chiefs of the Diné people before, during and after the Long Walk Period. His name means Little Manuel in Spanish. He was born to the Bit'aa'nii or ...more

Chief Powhatan is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Chief Powhatan, whose proper name was Wahunsenacawh, was the paramount chief of Tsenacommacah, an alliance of Algonquian-speaking Virginia Indians in the Tidewater region of Virginia at the time ...more

George W. Harkins is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
George W. Harkins was an attorney and prominent chief of the Choctaw tribe during the Indian removals. Elected as principal chief after the national council deposed his maternal uncle, Greenwood ...more

Tuba is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Tuba Tuba was a Hopi leader in the late 19th century. Tuba was the headman of the small Hopi village of Moencopi, roughly fifty miles west of the main villages on the Hopi mesas. However, he ...more

Conquering Bear is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Conquering Bear Matȟó Wayúhi was a Brulé Lakota chief who signed the Fort Laramie Treaty. He was killed in 1854 when troops from Fort Laramie entered his encampment to arrest a Sioux who ...more

Shikellamy is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list List of Famous Tribal Chiefs
Shikellamy Shikellamy, also known as Swatana, was an Oneida chief and overseer for the Iroquois confederacy. In his position as chief and overseer, Shikellamy served as a supervisor for the Six Nations, ...more