Michele Young-Crook is a mixed heritage Algonquin and from the Bear Clan. She is currently president of M Young Crook Consulting Inc. A company that helps organizations transition mitigate tasks and risks with over 15 years of experience growing a national organization.
With over 20 years in the marketing and sales industries, four years in stand-up comedy with shows across Ontario and British Columbia. Once her role at NATOA changed to CEO, the time commitment was too much to pursue further, so she moved into hosting events, galas, and public speaking opportunities. Michele's humour lived experiences, and charisma has always kept a crowd engaged and wanting more.
Michele credits her success to her relentless commitment to providing Indigenous communities, womxn, and youth with the tools to overcome barriers and access ample resources and programs to help foster and maintain self-confidence and quality of life. You can see this first hand with the Indigenous Women's Holiday Market; it is a place for Indigenous Women-owned businesses to sell their products for free, with over 79,000 members. She is the founder of IndigiMall.net, an online e-commerce platform for Indigenous-owned businesses to grow their businesses with easy to use platform. Michele recently just launched Crooked Bear, an online clothing and accessory company with a give back to Indigenous Youth Initiatives.
With the success of the international best-selling book Unbreakable Spirit which Michele Co-authored, Michele decided to get more serious with her writing. She will be launching a series of children's books in February 2022, and they are a non-fiction collection to have children learning through fun facts.
What is matriarchy to you?
Matriarchy is Indigenous women helping and lifting other Indigenous women. Being there to provide resources to ensure the next seven generations are being considered. I would not be where I am today if it was not for the incredible matriarchs that raised me and the matriarchs I have met over the years through social events. It is so important to support women and to be there for one another.
How did you get to where you are? What is your foundation? I am here today because of support systems; I wouldn’t have had the courage to start my own businesses had it not been for the Lift Collective and all the amazing Matriarchs that are and were a part of it. They really helped me find the strength to believe in myself. My foundation is family, my family means so much to me and keeping with the teachings my grandmother, mother in law and mother have passed down to me.
Who or what is/was your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from the seven generations unborn and the need to make sure I leave mother earth better for them then when I arrived. My children are also a huge inspiration for me, I want to ensure that I am living by example and I am showing them just how much of an impact they can make when they do things from a good place in their heart.
What words of wisdom do you have for your sector/industry?
Take the leap! Being out of your comfort zone is when the most magic will happen, and it is ok to be scared. Just don’t let fear dictate what you do.
What is your vision for the next generation?
I truly believe the next generation is going to fix a lot of the mistakes the previous generations made. There are so many incredible youths that I have met over the years and the way they process, deliver and implement incredible ideas is amazing.
What words of wisdom do you have for the next generations?
“You Got this!!” you have so many ancestors behind you that are sharing their wisdom through your veins and teachings.
Women in Leadership has been awarded a contract with the Government of Canada, for a project called "The Indigenous Leadership Circle", which is a continuation of the work that the foundation has done over the last 20-years of engaging with the Indigenous communities on Women's Leadership.
The Indigenous Leadership Circle Team will be conducting research aimed at Professional Indigenous Women, Indigenous Women in the Education System and Employer & Industry Stakeholders and value your input through a series of surveys and round-table meetings. The results from the findings through these surveys and meetings will be showcased at our Indigenous Leadership Virtual Forum, which will be held on March 8, 2022. Stay tuned for more details!
If you are interested in participating, we would value your input. Our surveys for each target category can be found here below:
To learn more about the Indigenous Leadership Circle, please go HERE.