Heritage Site / Ethnography Site / Nakawé / Governance

Article: Officers, duties, qualifications, and appointment

The group of people who were conceived of as the "police" were called the Okítsitá. The duties of these people were mainly to maintain order throughout the camp, but they did have various other responsibilities. They were appointed with such responsibilities due to the fact that they were experienced warriors and hunters. Knowledge concerning the Okítsitá is very limited due to the fact that the term itself was used to describe all warriors.

What little information that was obtained about them is this:

Each chief that was in power had his own group or society of Okítsitá that he appointed. As such, these people were the servants and messengers of the chief who appointed them. With such a powerful position in the society of the Saulteaux people came special obligations and privileges. Certain obligations included:

· Settling inner tribal disputes between citizens of the camp
· Punishing deviants of tribal law
· Distributing gifts at ceremonies
· Entertaining guests from other tribes
· Leading the tribe in warfare
The privileges that the Okítsitá enjoyed were:
· Wearing the horned bonnet with a single trail of feathers on it
· Painting one half of the face yellow and the other half of the face red to wear clothing that was patterned the same
· To use willow back rests which were not used by the rest of the tribe
· The right to marry immediately after returning from a successful war party, no matter how many wives he possessed before
· If a member of the Okítsitá had scouted then he could wear the grass head dress worn by scouts