Barbara Bilek

Barbara is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. She earned a BA from the University of Oklahoma in Native American Studies in 2010, her MA in History/Museum Studies from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2013, and a Master of Legal Studies in Indigenous People’s Law from the OU Law in 2015. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in history at the University of Oklahoma focusing on the history of Federal Indian law.

Barbara’s research interests include Native American history, Federal Indian Law, and Native American Museums and Cultural Centers. Currently, she teaches courses in museum studies, administrative leadership, and academic writing for the College of Liberal Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Recently, Barbara presented her paper “The Holy Grail of Being Indian, Exploring Federal Recognition and State Recognition through the Lens of Indian Identity” at the Princeton University, Native Testimony Conference in May 2016.

Other presentations include:

“Decolonizing Museums, A Study of the Evolution of Museums in the 21st Century,” at the University of Oklahoma, College of Law in Spring 2014

“Decolonizing the Histories of Helen Hunt Jackson and Gertrude Simmons Bonnin” at the University of Central Oklahoma Research Day in Spring 2013

“Decolonizing the Histories of Helen Hunt Jackson and Gertrude Simmons Bonnin” at the Mountain Plains Museum Association Annual Conference in October 2012.

Barbara has received the following awards:

2016 Kenneth E. Crook Faculty Achievement Award at the University of Oklahoma, College of Liberal Studies

Fall 2014 The Provost’s Certificate of Distinction for Outstanding Graduate Assistant Teaching University of Oklahoma

Graduate Student Research Presentation – Second Place at the Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference in April 2012