Hello, Kwe’ Ni’n Teluisi Melgignat Miti’s Mjijamij. N’in tle’iawi K’taqamkuk (My name is Strong Tree Spirit and I am Mi’kmaq Newfoundland). I go by Mel and I am a part of the Caribou clan.
I am a multilateral artist who uses my lived experience, artwork and therapeutic skills to develop and facilitate specialized youth programs. I spend a large amount of time within the Urban Indigenous community advocating for Indigenous youth to ensure their voices are acknowledged. I am a Ryerson University alumnus in the Child and Youth Care program and was the first graduate of the Aboriginal Knowledges and Experiences certificate. My knowledge comes from my lived experiences and from a vast amount of facilitation and program development.
I aim to embed CYC therapeutic perspective into all my programs to provide an environment of skill development, positive identity and engagement. My work over the last 12 years (as a peer support, frontline case manager and anti-human trafficking counsellor) has enhanced my ability to create consistent therapeutic programming while also co-facilitating activities at conferences, survivor lead initiatives and youth harm reduction programs. I have developed training that has been provided to child welfare, frontline case managers, hospital staff, Victims Services and crisis counsellors. I have been on several panels, spoken at conferences and have provided guest lectures at Ryerson University. I have also developed education sessions and training around ‘Indigenous history & relation to human trafficking’ that was provided to foster parents and caregivers as well to non-Indigenous agencies to support the growth and understanding of the unique needs of the Urban Indigenous population.