As a non-fiction essayist and poet I write and publish articles on indigenous, environmental,
and health topics for academic, popular, and community-based publications.

Recent Publications:
My first book, an edited anthology, Original Instructions – Indigenous Teachings For A Sustainable Future was published in 2008 (Inner Traditions / Bear & Company).

I edited this book from Native American talks given at the Bioneers Conference over the past fifteen years. Contributors include the late John Mohawk, Chief Oren Lyons, Winona LaDuke, Jeannette Armstrong, Katsi Cook, and John Trudell.

Read "Instructions for a Healthier Planet"
a SF State News web story about the anthology
Melissa K. Nelson, Ph.D. enjoyed a productive academic year 2010 – 2011 serving as the Anne Ray Resident Scholar at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, NM and is happy to be back at AIS, SFSU full-time for academic year 2011 – 2012 and working at the Cultural Conservancy.

While on fellowship Melissa completed four articles and essays by invitation:  


“The Future of Native Studies: A Modest Manifesto”
American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Volume 35, No. 1, Spring 2011;

“Red and Green: The Merging of the Indigenous and Environmental Movements and the Renewal of Traditional Ecological Knowledge”
for Green Fire Times, August 2011, special issue on Native American Green/Indigenous Solutions;

And for the forthcoming anthologies:

“The Hydromythology of the Anishinaabeg: Will the infamous Water Spirit Mishipizhu Survive Climate Change?” in Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories
edited by Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark, Niigonwedom James Sinclair (Michigan State University Press, 2012);


“Indigenous Science  - the Resilience of Place-Making”
for World of Indigenous North America edited by Roberto Warrior (Routledge 2012 - 13).

Nelson also made great progress on her book manuscript
Still Singing: The Eco-Cultural Revitalization of the Southern Paiute Salt Song Trail
and is in discussion with publishers.

One of Nelson’s previously published essays,
“Becoming Métis,” was re-published in The Colors of Nature – Culture, Identity, and the Natural World edited by Alison Deming and Lauret Savoy (Milkweed Editions 2011).

2008: More Than One Mask: The Context of NAGPRA for Museums and Tribes,
Edward M. Luby and Melissa K. Nelson.
American Indian Culture and Research Journal 32:4 (2008) 85 – 105. PDF

2008: Rivers of Memory, Lakes of Survival: Native American Water Traditions and the Anishinaabeg Nation.
Edited by Alison Deming and Lauret Savoy, Milkweed Press. In Deep Blue: Critical Reflections on Nature Religion and Water.
Edited by Sylvie Shaw & Andrew Francis.
To be published by Equinox Publishing, London, England. 

I will also be editing a special issue of the American Indian Culture & Research Journal:

'"Decolonizing Our Bodies / Nourishing Our Spirits” – American Indian Health Recovery in the 21st Century.
Special Issue of the American Indian Culture & Research Journal, University of California, Los Angeles.
Call For Papers PDF

Other selected publications include:

2006: Oral Tradition, Identity, and Inter-generational Healing Through the Southern Paiute Salt Songs.
In Cultural Representation and Contestation in Native America.
Edited by Andrew Jolivette. Berkeley: AltaMira Press. PDF

2006: Ravens, Storms, and the Ecological Indian at the National Museum of the American Indian.
Wicaso Sa Review, 21, no. 2. PDF

2002: [Reprint] Becoming Métis. The Colors of Nature – Culture, Identity, and the Natural World.
Edited by Alison H. Deming and Lauret E. Savoy. Milkweed Editions, Minneapolis, Minnesota. PDF
Featured Interview in
Sacred Fire Magazine
Fall 2008