Mellisa “Maktuayaq” Johnson is Iñupiaq from Nome, Alaska, and is the executive director for the Bering Sea Elders Group (BSEG). She has a strong passion for protecting, respecting, and maintaining traditional Indigenous ways of life. Her upbringing with her grandparents and many other Elders, along with inspiration from her three children, drives her to work to advocate, educate, and share the importance of preserving and maintaining our Indigenous way of life for the Bering Sea region. She has a strong cultural sense of being Indigenous and carries a deep passion for learning and sharing Iñupiat and Yup’ik cultures. The mission of BSEG is to speak and work together as one voice to protect and respect our traditional ways of life, the ocean web of life that supports the resources we rely on, and our children’s future.