Michigan Department of Civil Rights (member of the Michigan College Access Network)
My name is Melissa Kiesewetter (she/her/hers) and I am the Tribal Liaison with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights and am housed in the DEI unit. I have been with the department for almost 13 years. As the Tribal Liaison, I administer the statewide Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver program, maintain regular contact with the 12 Tribal Nations who share geography with Michigan, co-facilitate DEI an Implicit Bias trainings, facilitate internal and external workshops on Tribal/State relations, and assist the Governor's office when requested. Prior to joining the State of Michigan, I served as the Education Director for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians whose traditional homelands are in the Petoskey/Harbor Springs area. Before working with and alongside Tribes, I had an earlier career in College Administration which followed my Master's Degree from Michigan State University, and worked at both private and public higher education institutions. I currently serve on the Native American Heritage Fund board and the Michigan Center for Civic Education board and am a member of the Michigan College Access Network. I have had the wonderful opportunity to be involved and coordinate many impactful projects such as the development of an Indigenous resource guide for educators to accompany the social studies standards, the statewide training on Tribal/State relations and Native American Heritage Month events. I have two children and live with my partner and our large dog named Bruno.