Melissa Candelaria is a senior education attorney and a member of the plaintiff’s legal team for Yazzie/Martinez v. State of New Mexico. The Center represents families and schools in this landmark lawsuit against the state for failing to provide public school students a sufficient education as guaranteed by the New Mexico State Constitution. Ms. Candelaria has many years of legal, policy, and advocacy experience on a variety of issues including education, health, child welfare, tribal courts, and governmental relations involving tribes and federal, state and local governments, and the promotion and protection of tribal sovereignty. She currently serves as an Oversight Commissioner for the 19 Pueblos District located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is a citizen of the Pueblo of San Felipe.
Ms. Candelaria has a Juris Doctor with a Certificate in Indian Law from the University of New Mexico School of Law, and a B.A. with a Minor in Education from Dartmouth College.