2023-2024 Cohort

Melanie (MJ) Anderson (Ojibwe)

MJ Anderson is from the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. She has spent the last three years working in renewable energy development with tribes in the midwest with Woven Energy
and the Midwest Tribal Energy Resources Association. After completing a Fulbright in Timor-Leste where she taught English and volunteered with the country’s Office of Climate and
Environment, MJ applied for graduate school to continue her education, increase her effectiveness as an advocate for the renewable energy transition, and enable her to broaden her
scope from the United States to an International stage. MJ will be attending the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies pursuing a Master’s in International Relations with a Certificate of U.S.-China relations. The first year she will be studying at the Nanjing Johns
Hopkins campus in China, followed by a year in Washington D.C. MJ plans to use the Tribal Energy Innovator Fellowship as an amazing opportunity for professional development, assisting
with achieving her graduate school goals as well as assisting with funding opportunities outside of the program.

Marissa Sisk (Creek)

Marissa is a Graduate student at the UCSB Bren School for Environmental Science and Management where she specializes in Energy and Climate, as well as Corporate Environmental Management. As part of her graduate degree, she has co-founded Sunstone Energy, a clean energy microgrid developer that supports Indigenous communities with their energy needs. As a Muscogee (Creek) Nation citizen, she is determined to contribute to energy resiliency efforts for tribal-serving community centers, including women’s shelters, health centers, mental health facilities, senior citizen living facilities, and more. Her aspiration is to utilize her voice as a platform to fortify the economies of Indigenous communities through filmmaking and environmental innovation.

David Karabelnikoff (Knik)

David Karabelnikoff is an accomplished entrepreneur and passionate advocate for sustainable development and renewable energy. As a proud member of the Alaska Native community, he possesses a profound understanding of the distinctive obstacles confronted by Alaska Native populations. David has utilized his expertise to drive positive change and empower Indigenous Peoples. His unwavering dedication to environmental stewardship is evident in his efforts to promote sustainable practices and foster a greener future. Through his visionary leadership, David Karabelnikoff continues to shape a world where sustainable development and the preservation of indigenous cultures go hand in hand.

Luke Tyree

Luke Swampdog Tyree is a member of the Monacan Indian Nation. Formerly the Chairman of the Monacan Constitutional Committee, Former Monacan Tribal Councilmen, former and current traditional ecological knowledge and indigenous science practitioner. Luke is the founder and managing director of NDPonics; an indigenous-led non-profit which has, to date, acquired and permanently protected close to 1,000 acres of wild lands in the hills of Virginia; the traditional territory of the Yessàh People. Additionally, in 2015-2016, through HVAC replacement, insulation, and retrofitting, NDPonics assisted the Monacan Indian Nation government to cut it’s energy bills in half. NDPonics partners with other indigenous and BIPOC led organizations on the Eastern Seaboard to further green building and renewable energy in Indian Country. A first generation high school graduate, Luke earned his BS from the University of Hawaii at Hilo in 2011 and MS from Yale in 2014. Luke has a family of patent-pending bio-stimulant foliar sprays and is the managing director of a real estate start-up with rentals in the city of Lexington.

Dillon Shije

KuWaTsi Hopah! My name is Dillon Shije, and I am a Councilman and Tribal Leader from the Pueblo of Zia in New Mexico. Currently, I serve as a Membership Liaison at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). I am also a Partner at Zia Impact, a consultancy focusing on Tribal Infrastructure and Economic Development, where I combine my expertise in advocacy and sustainable communities. As a Founding Board Member of the Pueblo Development Commission NGO, I actively further the perspectives of the Pueblo Peoples of New Mexico
across global Indigenous issues. I am the Tribal-Interior Budget Council (TIBC) Southwest Representative, nominated and supported by the All Pueblo Council of Governors to serve 25 Tribal Nations. I hold political appointments as a State Platforms and Resolutions Committee (SPARC) Member for the Democratic Party of New Mexico and a Native American Senate Central Committee (SCC) Member. This representational role is the first of its kind in the U.S.,
created through legislation. Before my advocacy work, I was a Professional Runner and Division I Cross Country National Champion. I was honored at the Obama White House. I hold a Harvard Business School Executive Education Certificate in Leading People and Investing to Build Sustainable Communities, which was supported by the Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA). I also have dual Bachelor’s degrees in History and Integrative Physiology from the University of Colorado – Boulder, as well as a Pre-Med Post-Bacc from the University of Arizona and the University of New Mexico. Additionally, I am a recipient of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Community Leadership Network Fellowship and graduate of Leadership New Mexico’s Connect Program and ASU’s Indigenous Leadership Institute. I am recognized as an Aspen Institute ‘Future Climate Leader’ and a Schusterman Philanthropies Reality Sports Fellow. I was appointed as the Health Advisor to 20 Pueblo Sovereign Nations of New Mexico and Texas, and I aspire to become a medical doctor in the future. Alongside my dedication to public service, community advancement, and cultural observance, I find fulfillment in my role as a devoted husband and father.