Francine D. Spang-Willis

Francine D. Spang-Willis is of the Northern Cheyenne Nation and settler descent. She is an Oral History Master of Arts candidate at Columbia University. She has also served as an Obama Presidency Oral History Fellow since September 2019.

Prior to attending Columbia University, Francine was the first female and Indigenous executive director at the American Indian Institute. Before that, Francine served in different capacities at Montana State University. She was recruited to be the first female and Indigenous program director for the American Indian/Alaska Native Student Success Services, where she also served as a program manager. She also served as an adjunct graduate instructor and teaching assistant in the Department of Native American Studies. She has also been a research associate for the Northern Cheyenne Ecoregional and Ethnographic Assessment Project at Chief Dull Knife College, a field technician and cultural specialist for Hope Archeology, an archeology technician for the Custer Gallatin National Forest, and an interpreter, at the Big Horn Medicine Wheel, for the Big Horn National Forest.

While serving on her first board of directors at the Western Heritage Center, Francine co-authored a multi-million dollar proposal to create the American Indian Tribal Histories Project (AITHP). She then served as the AITHP Director for the duration of the project. The AITHP team worked with the Northern Cheyenne, Crow, and Chippewa-Cree Nations to share Indigenous history and culture from an Indigenous perspective through storytelling as an oral history tradition and method.

Francine graduated with a Master of Arts in Native American Studies from Montana State University in 2013 and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Rocky Mountain College in 1999.