Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Elizabeth Goryunova

Second Advisor

David Everson

Third Advisor

Dan Jenkins


Native American leaders of the Wabanaki community can provide great insight on how to build positive close-knit relationships within a community. Previous research has focused on other tribal nations such as the Cherokee and servant leadership. But few studies have explored authentic leadership in the Wabanaki community. Authentic leadership occurs naturally in the Wabanaki Nation through their cultural upbringing and the leaders' authenticity projects back into the community. This phenomenology study explores authentic leadership within the Wabanaki Nation and how it contributes to the cultivation of positive relationships within the community. Ten leaders and advocates of the Wabanaki community participated. Each participant was interviewed with ten openended questions about how they function in certain leadership situations. The specific questions focused on (A) core values, (B) group pressure (C) conflict, and (D) openmindedness. The research yielded four major themes: 1) importance of community-based values, 2) cultural values impacting individual career trajectories, 3) consultation with community members who have diverse viewpoints, and 4) responsibility to elders and future generations. Keywords: Native Americans, Wabanaki, relationships, community, authentic leadership