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Cultivating Resilience

Aug 17, 2023


Melanie Johnson, Sac and Fox Nation, M.Ed., CPS, is the Director of the Whole Child Initiative for the National Indian Education Association. Melanie has worked with tribal communities and organizations for over 20 years.

Melanie is a Certified Prevention Specialist and has worked in the field of substance use and misuse prevention in native communities, focusing primarily on native youth for over 10 years. Melanie also serves as a consultant for the Opioid Response Network Indigenous Communities Workgroup since 2019.

Melanie also serves on the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s Indigenous Peoples Advisory Council, is a member of the National American Indian and Alaska Native Prevention TTC, and sits on the Advisory Board for the Compassionate School Leadership Academy for the Center for Educational Improvement.


The conversation centers on Melanie Johnson's efforts at the National Indian Education Association to address Native students' educational needs. Through listening sessions, they gather insights, highlighting hope and the call for collective action to support families and draw on ancestral knowledge for healing. Topics include educational sovereignty, preserving cultures, involving others, vocational training, systemic barriers, and unity for future generations.

Listen for

• the purpose and results of the listening sessions

• the imperative for educational sovereignty

• the importance of allies to support policy-making at the local and state levels

• the value of pathways to post-high school vocational training and higher education

• the need for greater historical awareness of the population at large

Connect with Melanie

Melanie Johnson, M.Ed. Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma
Director, Whole Child Initiative
National Indian Education Association
1514 P Street, NW, Suite B
Washington, DC  20005