TAKING A SEAT AT THE ECONOMIC TABLE | INDIGENOMICS BY DESIGN 2021 MC
Mrs. Melissa Hardy-Giles was born and raised on Lake Helen Reserve, an hour northeast of Thunder Bay, ON. Melissa is a graduate of Confederation College in both the Executive Office Administration and Human Resource Management programs. She has several years of experience as a Senior Administrator and as a Human Resource Practitioner. Melissa started and developed 3 successful businesses and is currently the owner of ORIGIN, an Indigenous-owned progressive business enterprise, that takes pride in offering innovative technology solutions to a growing portfolio of clients in targeted industries. Founded In 2009, ORIGIN’s history is routed in workforce development and has evolved over a twelve-year period into a provider of full suite of 360 VR solutions.
ORIGIN’s Vision is enhancing identity, purpose and connection to career and culture.
ORIGIN is the creator of ImmersiveLink (IL) which is a comprehensive, Virtual Reality based VR platform, that was originally created for Career (exploration, development & training) as well as Indigenous cultural awareness & diversity purposes. The system can be found in over 1000 schools, 80 Nations and with many other organizations.
Melissa 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. Some of her recent accolades include: 2020-21 Indigenomics “Top 10 Indigenous companies to watch in Canada”, 2020 National Award for Excellence in Business, 2019 Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Game Changer award winners, 2019 Confederation College Presidents Award, Recipient of the 2019 Northern Ontario, Influential Women’s Entrepreneur of the Year award, 2019 Ontario Premier Award nominee and in 2018, ORIGIN was awarded the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) Partnership of the year award.
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 amongst 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 all people whenever and however she can.