Melissa Berns has worked for the Old Harbor Native Corporation from 2003-2009 in the capacity of Office Manager and returned in 2013 working under the Kulluk Response Project as Project Manager and Office Manager of the Old Harbor Office. During her time with OHNC she has provided support to the Old Harbor Scholarship Foundation, Shareholder Relations, Accounting, and Coordinator of Community Affairs.
Ms. Berns is active in the community of Old Harbor serving on the Old Harbor School Advisory Board, Old Harbor Alliance Inc. Board, Cape Barnabas Inc. Board, Secretary for the U.S. Federal Subsistence Management Council for Kodiak & Aleutians, Kodiak Regional Aquiculture Board, Kodiak Region – Migratory Bird Council, and Alaska Department of Fish & Game Advisory Council for the Kodiak Region. She volunteers with youth programs as Nuniaq Alutiiq Dance Instructor, Nuniaq Traditional Camp Planner, Alutiiq Week Organizer, USA Wrestling and Old Harbor School Programs Volunteer.
Melissa perpetuates the continuation of Alutiiq Cultural Arts by teaching Subsistence Harvesting and Processing, Alutiiq Basket Weaving, Skin Sewing and Beading through youth programs year around. With extensive knowledge of traditional foods and a background in culinary arts & nutritional therapy; Melissa works with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s Store Outside Your Door Cooking Program as Traditional Chef.
Melissa has previously served as Vice President of the Alutiiq Tribe of Old Harbor, Member of the Indian Education Advisory Board and Member of the Old Harbor Scholarship Foundation Board. Her work experience includes 18 years commercial fishing, Chef at the Sitkalidak Lodge, CEDS Program Manager for the Kodiak Area Native Association, and Community Health Program Manager for the Aleutians Pribilof Island’s Association. Melissa lives in Old Harbor with her daughter and son.