Melissa K. Nelson, (Turtle Mountain Chippewa), is a writer, researcher, educator, media-maker, and cultural and environmental activist. Melissa has served as The Cultural Conservancy’s president and executive director since 1993. In 2000 she completed her Ph.D. in Cultural Ecology with an Emphasis in Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis. Since 2002 she has also served as a professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University. Her published works have appeared in academic and national journals. Her edited anthology is Original Instructions – Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future (Bear & Company 2008). Nelson is a Switzer Environmental Fellow and Leadership Award recipient and has served on the boards of numerous environmental organizations including Earth Island Institute, United Religions Initiative, and currently, the Center for Whole Communities and Bioneers.