Hli Haykwhl Ẃii Xsgaak, Melanie Mark

Social Venture Institute Hollyhock 2023 True Confessions Speaker

Born of Nisga’a, Gitxsan, Cree and Ojibway ancestry, HLI HAYKWHL ẂII XSGAAK, Melanie Mark, is a former Canadian politician and the first First Nations woman to be elected to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia and serve in B.Cs Cabinet. She served as the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and later the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.

Before entering politics, Melanie received a bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Simon Fraser University, a Criminology Diploma from Douglas College / Native Education College and an Advanced Executive Certificate from Queens School of Business. She was an advocate for the most vulnerable children, youth and families with B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth. 

Melanie Mark has championed numerous initiatives across B.C. by advancing the rights of Indigenous peoples, numerous articles of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and increasing access to education, housing, childcare and mental health services. 

She received the Stenberg College, Be the Change, Community Leadership award and the Chief Joe Mathias Leadership Award from the Native Education College to list just a few of her honours.

Currently, Melanie is working on strategic plans for emerging First Nations’ lead economic and business opportunities focused on the green tech, low carbon and renewable energy business sectors.   Her in-depth knowledge of ever changing public policy, combined with an astute business sense, are helping to inform her soon to be launched new business enterprise. 

Outside of her business aspirations, Melanie Mark is the devoted mother of two daughters Maya and Makayla. She is driven to disrupt the status quo using her remarkable skills to advance social, environmental and economic policies, programs and prosperity for British Columbians.