Melodie Lopez (Hopi/Navajo/Pueblo/Mexican) received her BA in Psychology & American Indian Studies from CSU Long Beach and her Master’s in Social Welfare, with an emphasis on Indian Child Welfare from UC Berkeley. Serving Indian Country for over 30 years, Melodie blends traditional Native Knowledge and contemporary Indigenous Scholarship to provide Indigenous centered praxis in strategic planning, youth leadership and environmental education.
Melodie began Indigenous Strategies over a decade ago, which has focused on strategic planning initiatives from program development through evaluation services to assist leaders in tribal programs and Indigenous nonprofits to meet the unique needs of professionals who serve Native American youth, families and communities. Enjoying the strengths of Native youth who learn best in cooperative interactive settings, she has co-developed Native teen and community leadership programs such as Huchoosedah College Mentoring Project, Retain American Indians Now! Program, and Native Leadership & Wellness Program at the Arizona Schools for the Deaf and Blind. Melodie has also served three terms on the board of the Arizona Indian Education Association where she developed and coordinated the AIEA Protecting Our Land Summer Camp. Currently, she developed and co-leads EcoTruths for Indigenous Youths, a year-round program supporting Indigenous connections to Land in order to understand, analyze and create environmental policy.
Melodie has been involved in many local, statewide and national conferences addressing the issues of Native youth, focusing on community-based solutions. She has co-founded several local organizations including the H.O.N.O.R. (Honoring Our Nations, Offering Resiliency) Collective, a group of Indigenous women, Two Spirit and non-binary individuals who are grounded in feminine energy to support individuals, families and communities who have experienced trauma. HONOR provides education, outreach and support on the many threads touching Murdered, Missing Indigenous Relatives. Melodie also co-created the Engaging Native Boys Exploratory Project and STEM RISE AZ, where she led the Traditional Ecological Knowledge curriculum group. Upon the end of the Engaging Native Boys grant, Indigenous Strategies assisted in the development of Indigenous Intellectual Warriors, for Native men in college (UA, ASU, TOCC) and oversaw its development into a nonprofit.
In her spare time, Melodie serves on the University of Arizona’s Native American Advisory Council to the President, Arizona State University’s Office of American Indian Programs Advisory Council, Field Instructor to the ASU Social Work Department, Advisory to the Climate Science Alliance and serves as the Secretary of Board of Directors of the Loft Cinema which includes co-chair of the Racial Justice Committee & facilitator of the Indigenous Film Committee.