USFS hires Tribal Relations Specialist for Sparks office |

USFS hires Tribal Relations Specialist for Sparks office

Special to First Nation’s Focus
Melyssa Navis

SPARKS, Nev. — Melyssa Navis recently joined the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest as a Tribal Relations Specialist.

She has over 17 years of experience with the Army Corps of Engineers in Chicago, working in the Regulatory Branch as a Biologist and later as a Native American Special Emphasis Program Manager.

As a Native American Special Emphasis Program Manager, she has worked in concert with the Army Corps’ Tribal Nations Center for Technical Expertise in Albuquerque, New Mexico, supporting tribal relations initiatives both at the district and division levels. She consulted with various tribes on an array of complex land use development, infrastructure improvement, and environmental restoration projects.

Over the last five years, Navis has also served as the American Indian Center of Chicago Board Secretary, a nonprofit cultural organization focused on providing resources and fellowship for the Native American community in Chicago. She was also the Council Secretary for the Illinois Indian Child Welfare Act Council that support the Native youth in foster care.

Navis served eight years in the Army Reserves for the Headquarters Company and the National Guard 708th Medical Company as an Administration Personnel Specialist and Combat Lifesaver. She has a bachelor’s degree in public policy from De Paul University in Chicago and a masters in environmental and urban geography from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Navis is passionate about working on ecosystem restoration projects with Tribes utilizing Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and has special interests in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Navis is based out of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest’s office in Sparks, Nevada. Contact her at or by phone at 775-352-1256.


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