Although warriors were highly respected, the most important leaders on the Plains were chiefs.
Chiefs were usually older men distinguished by their wisdom, fairness, and sense of honor. Each tribe had several chiefs who gathered together in council to make major decisions, such as whether to go to war. Chiefs also dealt with the day-to-day problems of their people.
They determined when to go on a buffalo hunt, settled minor disputes between families, and made sure that the wives and children of fallen warriors were taken care of.