Dr. Nichole S. Prescott
Dr. Nichole S. Prescott is a fierce believer that culture is a powerful force for change. Through vivid storytelling and grounded in her cultural identity as an Indigenous woman, Nichole inspires audiences to look at leadership, culture, and belonging in new and innovative ways while reminding them that they too are more than an asterisk.
- Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
- Indigenous Heritage
- Women’s Empowerment
GETTING TO KNOW
DR. NICHOLE S. PRESCOTT
Dr. Nichole S. Prescott is a proud citizen of the Miami Nation of Oklahoma (Myaamia) and actively participates in the culture and language revitalization efforts of her people. Born in an Indian Hospital in Oklahoma, Dr. Prescott was raised on the Texas/Mexico border before she moved to Austin to pursue a college degree at The University of Texas as a first-generation college student. While Austin is her home, Dr. Prescott has maintained a strong engagement with the broader Native American community, currently serving on the Governing Council of the National Institute for Native Leadership in Higher Education and as a Director, Secretary, and Vice-Chair of the Miami University Foundation Board (a university situated on lands historically occupied by Myaamiaki), and formerly serving on the Board of Directors of the American Indians of Texas. She is a fierce supporter of the Myaamia Center, a tribally-driven language and culture research center situated at Miami University, one of her alma maters. Dr. Prescott currently serves as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas System. Equity-minded in her work, she targets historic inequities and systemic racism, including opportunity and achievement gaps for historically minoritized student populations.
Nichole Prescott’s traditional Myaamia name is Neehweeta, meaning She Speaks. Her approach to public speaking is much like her approach to life: Be passionate. Be engaging. Be bold but not overbearing. Be authentic, wherever that may take you. Take your mission, but not yourself (too), seriously. Interject humor when and where you can, but do so with sensitivity. Say something worth remembering and say it with energy and style.
More Than An *Asterisk.
Native Americans are frequently imagined rather than understood. Mainstream American culture reduces Indigenous peoples to images of headdress-wearing chief logos for tobacco products or favorite sports mascots. Hollywood prompts us to immediately think of Disney’s Pocahontas. Fashion bloggers highlight the latest appropriated fashion from the festival circuit. Similarly, in data sets Native Americans are usually relegated to the made-up status of “Other” or we are simply represented by an asterisk.—to indicate an omission of some sort. This invisibility or relegating of Indigenous peoples to the status of a punctuation mark is a reflection of the fact that Indigenous people—our history, our challenges, our successes, our future—are absent in the national narrative.
In this keynote, using historical and contemporary references, Dr. Nichole S. Prescott explores the ways in which Indigenous people are rendered invisible in the national narrative and in data, stereotyped in popular culture, and how Natives are taking back their narrative. This program also provides practical guidance on how to appreciate Native culture without appropriating it.
- learn a brief history of Native American representation in data sets and Popular Culture,
- learn the historical and contemporary reasons for the invisibility of Native Americans, and
- learn the difference between respectful appreciation and harmful appropriation of Native American culture, and apply that understanding in their own lives, to evaluate the harm of stereotypes on college campuses and in the broader world.
Rethinking Your Relationship with Your Grandmother: Indigenous Spirituality and the Natural World
Some Native American cultures view the earth as our grandmother, and all things are our relatives. The land, plants, water, and all of the living things that walk, fly, or swim teach us the most important lessons in life, if we pay attention. Humans are the caretakers, the stewards, of these gifts from Grandmother Earth. We must be good relatives, providing for our earth when she needs us and sharing in her abundance when she offers up that abundance. We should strive to keep balance between human need and the earth’s gifts. Many never stop to question whether they have been selfish in their relationship with the earth. Those of us who do strive for a healthy, balanced relationship (with other humans and with the natural world around us) risk enabling this other toxic relationship when we do not speak out, advocate for, and act in defense of our Grandmother.
For Dr. Nichole S. Prescott, a citizen of the Miami Nation of Oklahoma, grandmother earth serves as the basis of her spiritual practice. Through this program, Nichole will lead participants through an exploration of Indigenous understandings of the natural world, the relationship of that understanding to environmental stewardship, the very real experience of eco-grief, and why celebrating Earth Day simply is not enough.
- learn the relationship between land and identity for Native Americans,
- learn the relationship between spirituality and Grandmother Earth for many Indigenous people,
- learn what a land acknowledgement is and why it is important in a university setting as well as the broader world, and
- recognize the powerful potential of applying the concept of “7 generations” decision making and its implications for creating a better world
Cultural Dimensions of Leadership
Have you ever thought about how you learned what a good leader looks like, sounds like, and acts like? What makes a “good leader” is different depending upon which culture you are from. Our understanding of what makes a good leader is influenced by our culture and our traditions, and also from where we learn leadership lessons.
For example, while some cultures may attribute good leadership traits to people such as a Presidents and/or business CEOs, other cultures learn leadership lessons from the natural world, such as the strawberry or an eagle. The values of a society play a significant role in defining leadership. Using examples and stories from her tribal history and personal experience as an Indigenous woman, Dr. Nichole S. Prescott will lead you on a journey exploring authentic leadership.
- learn about the cultural dimensions of leadership,
- learn common traits within Indigenous conceptions of leadership,
- learn how to lead from a place of authenticity, and
- basic tenets of several leadership models.
To help you promote your event with Nichole, EVERGREEN has created promotional templates. In this folder, you will find resources for social media and press photos that you can use for your event.
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