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Meet Melissa Bennett
Meet Melissa Bennett

 

Melissa Bennett is a descendant of the Umatilla/Nez Perce/Sac & Fox Nations on the maternal side of her family and the Blackfoot Lakota/Navajo Nations on her paternal side. She currently serves Portland State University as the Program Coordinator for the Native American Student & Community Center. Melissa holds a Bachelor's degree from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA where her focus was on Creative Writing and Indigenous Studies. She earned her 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 and 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 a member of the 2014-15 Native American Youth and Family Center LEAD Cohort, the Northwest Indian Storytellers Association, and WordCraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. She is a lifelong Oregonian who grew up on an onion farm, enjoys stomping through the rain, and reads multiple books at a time.