The Algonkian word sunksqua combines the words sunk or sonk, meaning “elevated” and squa, meaning “woman,” to refer to a Native woman who serves as a sachem or chief. It can also indicate the wife of a chief. Traditionally, among eastern Algonkian peoples, it was common for women as well as men to serve as chiefs. Female leaders were also called, by the English, “squaw sachems.”