Danielle- The Four Food Chiefs

Questions:How does the article contribute to your understanding of leadership?
                How will you apply learning to your own leadership practice?
The Four Food Chiefs

There is no doubt that the reason the Sylix aboriginals have survived for so long is because of their great leadership skills. From the moment they are born until they died leadership was a big part of their life. They were surrounded by a loving, kind, caring leadership that influenced them to become leaders. It started by taking responsibility for themselves and that contributed to the family, tribe and to become a strong nation.


The Four Food Chiefs is about the Sylix Aboriginals. They were the first aboriginals to live here in the Okanagan area. Their history has been passed down through each generation by story. They shared knowledge about the secret of survival and had four laws helping them to do so. It was very important for the Slyix to teach the four rules because understanding and being a part of the land is how they have survived for so long. The laws are like stages that they learned which were:


1.     Life form of first people without natural instincts to survive

2.     First thinking people who learned the natural law to survive

3.     Original people who learned to live together on the land in peace

4.     After the arrival of newcomers


These four rules influenced the nation. It influenced the nation to lead with peace and to sustain the natural state of the land and keep each generation learning and teaching these aspects. Three major things that impacted everyone was the leadership and how it was taught throughout the generations.


It affected each individual tribe as well. The stages helped the chiefs lead a well balanced tribe. They organized all activities going on within their tribe and made decisions for the better of their people. They made sure these laws were passed down and taught by the families with kindness and caring so the children would respect these rules. The chief took so much responsibility; they had to protect not only the people but also the land and their values. The kind of leadership the chiefs reflected affected areas around them too. They lived in peace with the neighboring tribes around them. The chief was always a good leader and role model for everyone.


Within the family every member was involved. The children had a loving upbringing to help them become good leaders. Babies are cared for by all mothers of the family, all of the mothers of the family took a part in caring for the baby up until the age of three. From four until eleven the children were taught by their grandparents. Their wisdom and patience educated the children in a gentle way. Harshness was never a choice in discipline because for the children to grow up to love and be caring leaders you didn’t want to be harsh on them. Teenagers were then full of leadership knowledge and their aunts and uncles helped them to apply it to work. When the child is grown up they already know how to live within the family and tribe, and know how to respect and be responsible for themselves and others. They know how to be a healthy contribution to the whole tribe.


With all of these aspects for all of the aboriginals it was easy for everyone to get along and live in peace. They didn’t have any problems with robberies, murders or any crimes, it was unheard of. Everyone was taught with kindness and success in mind.


I think people can learn a lot from the sylix people and how they showed leadership. The elders, adults, teenagers and children all contributed to leadership. The leadership surrounded them and it started from the moment that they were born until they passed. It was everyone who took responsibility that made the nation tribes and families work. Being a leader doesn’t mean only one person is responsible. Leadership is how everyone can contribute in a loving kind way. I think this teaches me that as an individual I can take responsible actions and become a better leader. I can lead with love and care and like the great chiefs be a good role model for others.