Nancy Strickland Fields
Nancy Strickland Fields (Lumbee) is the Education Coordinator at the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Currently under construction, the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum will stand as a vibrant forum where the values of American Indian life can be expressed through arts, language, dance, music, literature, crafts and other traditions that are alive today in the 39 American Indian communities throughout Oklahoma. As Education Coordinator, Nancy is working with tribes, educators, school systems and other constituents across the state of Oklahoma to design relevant and authentic educational teaching curriculum and materials for both youth and adult audiences.
Nancy is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts Tribal College (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Museum Studies with an emphasis in museum education. While at IAIA, she worked in several key museum positions at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts. Along with museum studies academics, these positions provided her with an expansive knowledge of the fundamentals of museum operations and best practices. While a full-time student, she served a two-year term as chairperson of the Santa Fe Public Schools Indian Education Parent Committee. As chairperson, she successfully advocated for the integration of Native American cultural education to be a standard element to the existing curricula which, at the time, had minimal representation of Native culture for a student population with high Native American enrollment.
In 2006, she began working for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian as Teacher Services Coordinator in the Education Department, where she developed and presented national educational programs about Native American culture and history. She designed in-services, teacher workshops, classroom teaching materials and web-based content that provided the tools and resources for teachers from across the United States and abroad to instruct the subject of American Indian culture and history with accuracy and authenticity.
Prior to Nancy’s museum career she was employed by Metrolina Native American Association, an urban American Indian cultural center in Charlotte, North Carolina as the Program and Youth Director. She developed public and educational programs for a ten-county constituency that included museum education, indigenous knowledge, and tribal/community relations and outreach. This holistic approach to program development fostered wide-ranging public programs and learning experiences. Often partnered with other Native organizations such as UNITY, the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs and the National Museum of the American Indian, the success of these programs allowed her to identify the unique educational opportunities that come from the inherent environments of museums and cultural centers.
Nancy has been honored with many awards including 2004 American Indian Higher Education Consortium Student of the Year Award by the American Indian College Fund, and in that same year represented the American Indian College Fund in a national fundraising campaign. She has been recognized by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public School System, Santa Fe Public School System, and a host of other organizations for her dedicated work that has created awareness and promoted the advancement of American Indian culture and history throughout the United States.
Currently Nancy is working on two personal book projects. "Lumbee Ghost Stories, Legends and Lore." A book about the strong ghost storytelling tradition within the Lumbee community. The second book is an epic story of Lumbee history and culture co-authored by Lumbee women in honor of Dr. Helen Maynor Schierbeck (Lumbee), a pioneer Indian activist.
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