Melanie believes that both the art and culture sectors create opportunities for learning, entertainment, personal growth, creating and improving communication with others. As a traditionally knowledgeable nehiyaw iskwew from Thunderchild First Nation, Melanie enjoys working within areas that enhance opportunities to improve the lives of First Nations people and their communities.
Melanie’s experience and knowledge in several of the key areas required for the role of director demonstrates her ability to contribute to SaskCulture. She has volunteered for the Inspired Awards, World Indigenous Business Forum, Saskatchewan World Indigenous Festival for the Arts, Canadian Country Music Awards, and the Juno Awards. Melanie believes the art of music reflects the understanding and sharing of cultures. It creates and promotes social skills which then develops an awareness and respect in others.
Melanie’s education consists of a four-year Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Aboriginal Justice and Criminology from the U of S, as well as the Accelerated Administrative Assistant course from Saskatoon Business College. She has also participated in the Aboriginal Women Leadership Saskatchewan Program, a one year formalized mentorship and networking program designed to increase the representation of Aboriginal women in positions of leadership. This is a joint partnership between the Indigenous Leadership Development Institute Inc., Status of Women Canada, The Saskatchewan First Nations Women’s Commission, and the Office of the Treaty Commissioner.
Melanie is presently a board member with the Saskatoon Indian and Métis Friendship Centre (SIMFC). The board oversees financial budgets and the management of the Centre’s programs. Melanie has had the opportunity to work with those in leadership roles in various levels of governance within the Federation of Saskatchewan Indigenous Nations, Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, Saskatchewan First Nation Family and Community Institute, and other diverse organizations.