Photograph of Melissa Horner in an olive green shirt with a white background. She has long brown hair, large earrings, and is smiling.
Graduate Student
Areas of Study
  • Indigenous knowledge systems
  • Ongoing settler colonialism
  • De/Anti-colonialism
  • Indigenous methodologies
  • Public sociology
  • Policy sociology
Research and Teaching

Ongoing U.S. Settler Colonialism and Native Peoples

This free, public, asynchronous online Teach-Out is hosted through Johns Hopkins University's Coursera platform. The course is approximately 10 hours of content, including lectures, artwork, readings, discussions, videos, activities, and reflections and offers a framework for recognizing and responding to ongoing settler colonialism as a social structure in the United States.

Perspectives from Indigenous Peoples/Native Nations illuminate examples of current settler colonialism as it shows up in education, law, food systems, race/ethnicity, media, land, gender, environment, and health/medicine, among others. Through the course, participants will better understand ongoing settler colonialism and (re)imagine anti-colonial processes in the U.S. as a way to co-create thriving futures.


Melissa is a citizen of the Manitoba Métis Federation and a first-generation unenrolled descendant of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. She also has settler lineages including German and French. Melissa grew up in Montana and revels in spending time with her family, practicing archery, traveling, reading, hunting, and hiking with her dog Koy, all of which shape the cultural, relational, and personal experiences that continuously inform her thinking, writing, research, teaching, and creativity.

After teaching high school in rural Montana, Melissa transitioned to the PhD program in Sociology at the University of Missouri.

Melissa’s research interests cohere around examining the structure of everyday, ongoing settler colonialism in the U.S. while also exploring Indigenous knowledge systems that persist in Native Nations and Indigenous communities through state and tribal policies.

Melissa pursues her research and doctoral degree as a Health Policy Research Scholar for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Select Publications

Horner, Melissa. Under Review. “Cornerstones of Settler Colonialism: Recognizing, Revealing, and Responding to Ongoing Settler Colonialism.”

Horner, Melissa. 2023. “A Healing Methodology: An Indigenous Research Process.” In Nadia Kim and Pawan Dhingra (Eds.) Disciplinary Futures: Sociology in Conversation with American, Ethnic, and Indigenous Studies. New York: NYU Press.

Horner, Melissa, Joaquin Muñoz, and Robert Petrone. 2021. “Ni keehtwawmi mooshahkinitounawn: Lifting Up Representations of Indigenous Education and Futures in The Marrow Thieves. Research on Diversity in Youth Literature. 4(1): Article 7.

Horner, Melissa, Robert Petrone, and Allison Wynhoff Olsen. 2021. “Re-Thinking Race/ism and Rurality in English Education.” In Robert Petrone and Allison Wynhoff Olsen’s Teaching English in Rural Communities: Toward a Critical Rural English Pedagogy. (101–117). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Select Academic Presentations

Horner, Melissa. 2023, May. A Roundtable on Indigenous Reading Practices. Presentation at Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Annual Conference, Tkaronto, Canada.

Horner, Melissa, Iko’tsimiskimaki “Ekoo” Beck, and Mark Palmer. 2022, Nov. Stolen Children, Stolen Lands: Exploring the Forgotten History of American Indian Boarding Schools. Panel presentation for the Middleton Center for Race, Citizenship, and Justice. University of Missouri, Columbia, MO.

Horner, Melissa. 2022, July. Confluence: Indigenous Futures and Mutual Aid. Roundtable facilitation for Health Policy Research Scholars Summer Institute. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD.

Horner, Melissa. 2022, April. Stolen Acknowledgements of Stolen Lands: An Exploration of Indigenous Land Acknowledgements in Higher Education. PechaKucha presentation at Midwest Sociological Society (MSS) Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

Horner, Melissa, D. Todd Lawrence, and Daisy Barron. 2022, Feb. Race and Rurality. Virtual panel presentation for The Bridge, College of Education and Human Development. University of Missouri, Columbia, MO.

Select Public/Community Sociology

Horner, Melissa. 2022, March. Storyteller. Connection: Cousins in North Dakota. Community storytelling performance for True/False Documentary Film Festival’s “Campfire Stories,” Columbia, MO. 

Horner, Melissa, Anton Treuer, Melissa Lewis. 2022, Feb. Panelist. Post-film Conversation: Dodging Bullets—Stories from Survivors of Historical Trauma. Community panel in collaboration with Ragtag Film Society, Columbia, MO.

Horner, Melissa. 2021, Jan. Panelist. Exploring the Land Acknowledgement: Intentionality in Acknowledging Indigenous Lands and Places. Virtual public panel as part of the “Native Futures, Native Voices” series hosted by the Alliance for Native Programs and Initiatives, St. Louis, MO. Link.

Horner, Melissa, Daniela Velazquez, and Marvin Greer. Panelist. 2020, Oct. From Columbus to Coachella: Appropriation vs. Appreciation. Virtual public panel in collaboration with Missouri Humanities, St. Louis, MO. Link.   

Horner, Melissa, Yatika Starr Fields, and Ryder Jiron. 2020, July. Panelist. Indigenous ScholARTistry and the Agitation of White Supremacy: An Indigenous Mural Project at a Primarily White Institution (PWI) of Higher Education. Virtual public panel for Tulsa Artist Fellowship, Tulsa, OK. Link.

Media Appearances 

“Building an Indigenous Presence in Columbia,” by Sarah Parisien for the Columbia Missourian. Link.

"Aambe! (Let's Go!): A Native American Heritage Month Celebration. Link.