Melanie Mark is the first Indigenous woman to serve in the B.C. Legislature, and the first Indigenous woman to serve in a cabinet position in BC. She was appointed the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills, and Training on July 18, 2017. First elected in a by-election in February 2016 with the New Democrat Official Opposition, she served as the Deputy Spokesperson for Housing and then as Official Opposition Spokesperson for Children and Family Development. She was re-elected on May 9, 2017.
Melanie is passionate about building communities that thrive on quality social services, prosperous economies, and environmental sustainability.
Raised in East Vancouver, with a single mom, she has spent much of her life standing up for the Vancouver-Mount Pleasant community in a variety of leadership capacities. She is the former president of the Urban Native Youth Association and co-founder of the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre. Melanie is the recipient of the Young Women of Distinction Award with the YWCA (2006), Native Education College Chief Mathias Leadership Award (2015) and the inaugural Janusz Korczak Medal for Children’s Rights Advocacy (2016).
Her love of children and young people inspires much of Melanie’s work. She was a volunteer with Big Sisters, at the Youth Custody Centres, and served as the National Aboriginal Project Coordinator with Save the Children Canada’s for the Sacred Lives Project.
Melanie spent eight years advocating for the rights of children and youth in care working alongside Mary Ellen Turpel Lafond, with the BC Office of the Representative for Children and Youth. Prior to being elected, Melanie was the Associate Deputy Representative, responsible for Advocacy, Aboriginal and Community Relations and Youth Engagement throughout the province.
Melanie possesses a degree in Political Science from Simon Fraser University and a Criminology Diploma from Douglas College. She is Nisga’a, Gitxsan, Cree and Ojibway and a proud mother of two school aged girls. Melanie is a passionate advocate for the constituents of Vancouver-Mount Pleasant.