First First Nations woman elected to the Legislative Assembly (2016) and first First Nations woman to serve in Cabinet (2017)
Melanie Mark was raised in East Vancouver, British Columbia. After graduation from Simon Fraser University, she co-founded the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre, worked with the Native Courtworkers Association, Covenant House Vancouver and was the National Aboriginal Project Coordinator with Save the Children Canada's Sacred Lives project.
Mark has volunteered with many other organizations in her community, including the Big Sisters Youth Custody Centres and the Urban Native Youth Association.
In 2013, she became Associate Deputy Representative in the Office of the Representative for Children and Youth – one of eight non-partisan statutory offices appointed by the Legislative Assembly to monitor government programs and performance and ensure compliance with provincial laws. In this role, Mark advocated for children and youth in care.
She successfully ran as the New Democratic Party candidate for the riding of Vancouver-Mount Pleasant in a 2016 by-election. With her victory, Mark became the first First Nations woman elected to the Legislative Assembly.
Mark was re-elected in the 2017 provincial general election. Following the change in government in British Columbia in July 2017, Mark was appointed Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, also becoming the first First Nations woman to serve in Cabinet in British Columbia. She is Nisga'a, Gitxsan, Cree and Ojibway.