Indian chiefs were chosen for their willingness to serve and support their community. Indian chiefs had a long history of doing good and it was their responsibility to protect the tribe and the future generations of the tribe. Indian chiefs were chosen by each tribe, and would no longer serve, as a chief when they were no longer needed.
The duties of an Indian chief were unique. Many people look at chiefs as the rulers of the society. While their counsel would be sought in important matters, most decisions were made as a tribe or as a council instead of just by the chief. The Indian chief would lead the council and a discussion and then all would reach a consensus. The exception to this would be in disputes where a judge would be needed to discern the difference. Even at those times often more than one person would make the decision.
Chiefs were always well rehearsed in tradition and spirituality. One of the many roles of the chief was to preside over celebrations and other traditional rituals. Although the medicine man or another spiritual leader would lead the ceremonies, it was important for the chief to be there and to participate when appropriate.
Often there was a complex system of dub chiefs and a council. This allowed people who had considerable wisdom in one area be able to lead and help the people in that area. For example one person might be in char of the agriculture part and another might be in charge of the safety of the tribe. If the chief or other leaders of the tribe were no longer doing the things that the tribe wanted, then they would be replaced by someone who could serve better in that position.
Over the years the role of the chief has expanded and become more important as Indian chiefs struggle to protect not just the tribe and future generations but the traditions and culture that makes their tribe unique. There have been many famous Indian chiefs who have fought for these things since the Europeans first came to America.