Tiwahe News

Melissa Olson Joins the Tiwahe Foundation Staff

Boozhoo Relatives,

I am excited to join the Tiwahe Foundation as the newly hired Program Director. First, I want to say thank you to everyone who has taken time to welcome me to the Tiwahe Foundation. I look forward to working with our Tiwahe team, our community partners, our grantees, and our Oyate leaders to strengthen our Circle of Giving.

A little bit about myself – I am a mixed-heritage Anishinaabekwe, a proud tribal citizen of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe at Leech Lake, with relatives also from White Earth and Lac Courte Oreilles communities. I am graduate of the University of Minnesota, and I’ve worked in the Twin Cities Native communities for the past two and a half decades in various roles. I live in Minneapolis with my longtime partner John, and our dog Bronson.

I come to my work with the Tiwahe Foundation having divided my time over the past two years between my role at KFAI Fresh Air Radio as the co-managing editor of our audio storytelling program and my role as the Director of Creative Evaluation at Inspire to Change, a consulting firm in St. Paul, Minnesota. I feel both roles have prepared me to help tell the stories of our relationship to our land and to one another as we tell the stories of Tiwahe’s Oyate Network Leaders and Family Empowerment grantees.

My own story would not be possible without the love and support of the Tiwahe Foundation. As Program Director, it’s my intention to give back to our communities by building on the trust and support shown to me over the past decade. The value that we place in giving and sharing with one another is vital to keeping the Circle of Giving strong, and I am committed to do my very best to strengthen and build our individual and collective capacity. I look forward to working with you all!

Mii gwech! Thank you!

Melissa Olson