Melissa K. Nelson, Ph.D., is a cultural ecologist and indigenous scholar-activist. She is associate professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University and executive director of The Cultural Conservancy, an indigenous rights organization that she has directed since 1993. Her work is dedicated to indigenous revitalization, environmental restoration, intercultural understanding, and the renewal and celebration of community health and cultural arts. Melissa publishes essays in academic and popular journals and books. She edited a Bioneers anthology,Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings For A Sustainable Future (2008), focusing on the persistence of traditional ecological knowledge in contemporary indigenous communities. In 2005, Melissa co-produced the award-winning documentary, The Salt Song Trail: Bringing Creation Back Together. She has been a visiting scholar at the American Indian Studies Center at the University of California, Los Angeles. Melissa is Anishinaabe/Métis/Norwegian and an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe.