Nancy S. Gillis is the former Executive Director of the John Neihardt State Historic Site, March 1997 – July 2019. She continues presenting to schools and civic groups on Neihardt’s work and a variety of related topics such as Native American history, cultures, and education. She also served on faculty of Wayne State College, Northeast Community College, Nebraska Indian Community College, and Little Priest Tribal College from 1990 through 2017 teaching History, Anthropology, and Sociology, and honors courses on Neihardt’s life and work.
Of Cherokee and Choctaw heritage, Gillis moved to Winnebago, Nebraska in 1987 to work with the Winnebago people for the Reformed Church in America and has served as their delegate to its Native American Council. She stays active in various civic organizations, currently or previously serving on the board of the Dr. Susan LaFlesche Picotte Hospital Board, State of Nebraska Historical Preservation Office, Nebraska Folklife Network, Atlas of Winnebago, and the Walthill Village Planning Commission.