Melissa Olson

Melissa Olson (she/her/hers) is a Writer and Producer of Independent Public Media. Her short essay, “Let Me Tell You A Story” appears in “We Are Meant to Rise: Voices for Justice From Minneapolis to the World. Another of her short essays,” Telling Stories that Started Before Our Loss” appeared in ArtsEverywhere, Longhauling Series in fall 2021.

Melissa’s award-winning audio documentary Stolen Childhoods (52 mins) was produced in collaboration with KFAI Fresh Air Community Radio.  Stolen Childhoods tells the story of four women each of whom had been adopted out of their birth communities and the impacts of displacement within their families. In 2017, Melissa was the recipient of a Page One – Second Place Award for Special Projects in Radio from the Minnesota Society for Professional Journalists for her work on Stolen Childhoods.

For the past several years, Melissa has also worked as a producer and as an editor for MinneCulture, KFAI’s audio storytelling program. She received a Page One – Third Place prize from the MN Society for Professional Journalists for her work on a short story called the An Unvarnished, Unholy Tour of Franklin Avenue.

For the past year, Melissa has served as the Deputy Director of MIGIZI Communications, a non-profit youth development organization serving Indigenous youth in the Twin Cities. Melissa began her work with MIGIZI on a project to digitize the organization’s legacy radio archive. Melissa is a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts and completed three years of graduate study between 2003 and 2006, a proud recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship for her work in American Studies. Melissa is a tribal citizen of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe at Leech Lake. She lives in Minneapolis with her boyfriend John and their dog Bronson.