Melissa Bennett is a descendant of the Umatilla/Nez Perce/Sac & Fox Nations on the maternal side of her family and the Sihasapa Lakota/Navajo Nations on her paternal side. She currently serves Portland State University as the Program Coordinator for the Native American Student & Community Center. She earned a Master of Divinity degree from Marylhurst University, along with graduate certificates in Pastoral Care & Counseling and Theological Studies in 2012, then served for a year as an interfaith mental health chaplain specializing in the spiritual care of indigenous people. Melissa is a writer and emerging storyteller. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize after her poem "Church of Frida" appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of Yellow Medicine Review. She is interested in story as medicine, especially its ability to heal historical trauma among indigenous communities. Melissa is an alumni of the Native American Youth and Family Center LEAD Cohort, is currently a member of the Northwest Indian Storytellers Association and WordCraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. She also serves on the board for PlayWrite, Inc. and on the Oregon Department of Corrections Religious Services Advisory Council.