DESIGNING OUR ECONOMIES INDIGENOMICS BY DESIGN SPEAKERS
Mrs. Melissa Hardy-Giles was born and raised on Lake Helen Reserve, an hour northeast of Thunder Bay, ON. She is married to Paul Giles and is a mother to 3 children. She is a graduate of Executive Office Administration and Human Resource Management. She has several years of experience as a Senior Administrator and as a Human Resource Practitioner. Her interests have included kickboxing, marathons, mud runs, women’s cycling team, a love for yoga and most other athletics. In addition to owning/operating two businesses, she spends her ‘spare’ time, as a volunteer in the Kidsmin at Redwood Park Church, a mentor for entrepreneurship with the Native Women’s Association of Canada and sitting as a board member of Magnus Theatre and Thunder Bay Ventures. Melissa is an ambassador and mentor for Youth Fusion and has been invited to speak on many panels; with a strong focus on being a Women Entrepreneur and also being in the field of offering innovative, technology-based experiential learning modules in order to connect job seekers to industry. She is very proud to be an active member of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and the first Indigenous company to become a Procurement Champion with the CCAB.
Melissa and her husband Paul started Hardy Giles Consulting, a First Nations consulting and training company over 10 years ago. The company specializes in developing “outside of the box” innovative approaches and solutions for training, planning and other specialized projects. They built on that experience to create ORIGIN a company that works together with job seekers, Indigenous communities and employers to enable Indigenous workforce participation. ORIGIN’s “First-People-First” process involves engaging, enabling, connecting and transitioning Indigenous people and communities for current and future labour market opportunities.
Melissa has a passion to help women find and love their ‘true selves’. Once in a position as a single mother and limited education, she appreciates some of the barriers women face today. Melissa believes women must always be there for each other and not break one another down. There are enough barriers out there for women without having to fight each other. “Together we are strong”. She wants to help carry on her late grandmother Agnes Hardy’s love of her people and empowerment of people whenever and however she can.