Melissa Walls

Title: Co-Director

Location: Duluth, MN


Melissa Walls (memengwaa) is Eagle Clan and a first generation descendant of the Couchiching First Nation and Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe (maternal) and of Swedish/German descent (paternal). She grew up in northern Minnesota along the Canadian border and now lives in Duluth, MN where she serves as Director of the Center for Indigenous Health’s Great Lakes Hub and an Associate Professor of American Health in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins University.

Melissa is trained as a social scientist (PhD sociology, 2007) and is committed to collaborative, community-driven research. She has been working on health equity research projects with Tribal Nations in the Great Lakes region of the US and Canada since 2002. The Great Lakes Hub project focus on topics including mental health epidemiology, culturally-relevant, family-based substance use prevention and mental health promotion programming and evaluation, and promoting better health for families living with type 2 diabetes.