Elected in 2016, HLI HAYKWHL ẂII XSGAAK, Melanie Mark, is the first female First Nations MLA in British Columbia representing Vancouver Mount Pleasant. In 2020, Premier John Horgan appointed her as the Minister of Tourism, Art, Culture, and Sport. Melanie is the only First Nations woman to serve in BC’s Cabinet. Melanie is Nisga’a, Gitxsan, Cree and Ojibway. Melanie was born and raised in East Van.
Melanie entered politics to disrupt the status quo by creating public policies that address environmental stewardship, the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and building greater access to housing, healthcare, childcare, education, and employment. She believes in empowerment and often says ‘a rising tide lifts all canoes’.
Melanie is most proud of creating the provincial tuition waiver program, which supports former youth from the foster system to attend college and university, eliminating fees for adult basic education, and creating the BC Access Grant.
Melanie's work is inspired by her daughters Maya and Makayla and the desire for them to have greater access to education and opportunities as they grow up. Family is very important to Melanie and her time with Maya, Makayla, and her extended family keeps her grounded and motivated.
Melanie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Simon Fraser University. She holds a Criminology Diploma from Douglas College/Native Education College and an Advanced Executive Certificate from Queen's School of Business.
Melanie believes strongly that the changes we need to inspire and support future generations, require all of us to get on board and paddle together.