Melvin or Mel, as he prefers to be called is the grandson of Margaret and Alcario Tafoya and eldest son of Lee and Betty Tafoya. He is the brother of Phillis Tafoya-Bustos and Linda Tafoya-Sanchez. He is the father of Stephanie Tafoya. He mostly made pottery in his teens and in collaboration with his sisters. Today he no longer makes pottery but is an administrator at Santa Clara Pueblo.