Melissa is from the Village of Old Harbor on the southeast side of Kodiak Island.
Melissa has 17 years of experience commercial fishing around Kodiak Island and currently is employed by the Old Harbor Native Corporation as Project Manager.
Melissa is active in the community of Old Harbor. She serves on the Old Harbor Tribal Council as vice p president, Cape Barnabas Inc. Board, U.S. Federal Subsistence Management Council for Kodiak and Aleutians as secretary, Kodiak Island Tribal Fisheries Coalition as president, and she is a member of the Old Harbor Alliance and the Old Harbor Advisory School Board. She volunteers with youth programs as a Nuniaq Alutiiq dance instructor, Nuniaq Traditional camp planner, Alutiiq Week organizer, USA Wrestling and Old Harbor School Programs volunteer.
Melissa perpetuates the continuation of Sugpiaq – Alutiiq Cultural Arts by teaching subsistence harvesting and processing, Alutiiq basket weaving, skin sewing and beading through youth programs year around. With extensive knowledge of traditional foods and a background in culinary arts, Melissa works with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s “Store Outside Your Door” cooking program as a traditional chef.
Melissa was seated on the Council’s Board of Directors in May 2015.