The name she was given when she was born about 1860 into the Gros Ventres nation in Montana is not known. While no one is certain, it is believed she is the person “Pine Leaf” described by James Beckwourth in his autobiography. Ultimately she became known as Biawacheeitchish, in English - Woman Chief, a warrior of the Crow Tribe.
She was taken as a prisoner when she was 10 years old and was adopted and raised by a Crow warrior. Her stepfather encouraged her to be strong and supported her interest in traditionally male pursuits. She earned acclaim for her horse riding, marksmanship, and ability to field-dress a buffalo. She was a Two-Spirit, a term used by indigenous North Americans to describe gender-variant individuals. However, unlike other Two-Spirits, Woman Chief never wore men’s clothing but always wore typical female clothing.
When her father died, she assumed leadership of his lodge. She gained fame when she fought off many attackers during a Blackfoot raid on a fort where Crow families lived. She was described as being instrumental in turning back the assault. Woman Chief later raised her own band of warriors and raided Blackfoot settlements, taking many horses and scalps. She attracted considerable attention for her fetes and was likened to the mythological Amazon warriors by white men who met her.
Woman Chief rose to the third rank in the Council of Chiefs. Following the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie, she became involved in many negotiations with the tribes of Upper Missouri and brought peace between the Crow people and the tribe of her birth, the Gros Ventres. Several years later she was ambushed and killed by members of her birth tribe.