Date of Conferral







Patricia Loun


There are currently no research studies that investigate the relationship between acculturation and leadership values and practices among the Indigenous Tribes on the Northern Plains of the United States. The study was initiated because Native American Elders on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation were concerned that traditional altruistic leadership style was being lost in today's Native American leadership practice. Accordingly, acculturation and servant leadership theories were used to guide the study. A sequential explanatory mixed methods design incorporated the use of quantitative data based on the Servant Leadership Profile (SLP) and the Native American Acculturation Scale. (NAAS). The study included 51 Oglala Sioux tribal leaders, program directors, elected officials and traditional headsmen. The NAAS measured the respondent's orientation towards Native American versus dominant cultural values. The SLP measured the orientation towards the practice of servant leadership. The qualitative component involved interviews with 6 tribal leaders, 2 from each level of acculturation, to increase the understanding of the relationship between cultural orientation and leadership. The levels of acculturation were low, traditional (17.6%), moderate, bicultural (68.6%) and high, assimilated (13.7%). Qualitative themes revealed leadership values similar to servant leadership among all 6 respondents regardless of acculturation level. The bi-cultural participants identified in my study may create innovative ways of defining themselves and society itself for purposes of social change bridging the gap between divisions of traditional and assimilated individuals.