This is the moment when I first really gained respect for Chakotay in the series. I knew that he was obviously intelligent and a good fighter, that much was apparent from the loyalty that the Maquis crew gave to him. However I felt like his skills and attributes were never truly put on display as other characters’ were earlier in the season, until this point.
This was a moment where Chakotay seemed to show exactly how he complimented Janeway’s leadership, and just what insight he brings to the crew. Janeway is a scientist and explorer at heart, but Chakotay shows clear interest and skills in Anthropology. He makes sure that their quest for knowledge doesn’t come at the expense of another culture’s beliefs and obviously holds a great deal of respect for those beliefs, and knows how to best study them unobtrusively. I think the human race could learn a lot from those sentiments.
To be honest I really wish that the Voyager writers had drawn upon his affinity for other cultures a lot more and his skills of interpreting them. I know that Neelix was made ambassador because of his knowledge of the delta quadrant cultures and his ability to work well with even ones he wasn’t familiar with, but I really think they could have brought Chakotay in on it too, and maybe even had another episode where his skills were used and featured. I don’t know, it just seemed like they set him with these strong character traits and could have done a lot more with them. I love the show, and I love Chakotay’s character as a part of it, but this is something I would have liked to see more of.