Michele Young-Crook is a figurehead of capacity building for Indigenous Communities and an innovative advocate for Indigenous Women and Youth. She is currently the CEO and President of the National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association (NATOA), a charity organization mandated to facilitate financial literacy and wellness resources amongst Canada’s Indigenous communities to build and manage self-sustainable Trusts. Michele is also the owner of Luna & Owl, a jewellery and spiritual gift shop. Michele the creator of Indigenous Women’s Holiday Market so she could have the ability to give back more to Indigenous Women-owned businesses. After the great success of the market, and Michele wanting to contribute to the Indigenous Economy, she launched IndigiMall. A one stop shop for products by Indigenous Store owners. A dedicated Indigenous marketplace featuring exclusive Indigenous-made art, fashion, beadwork, moccasins, accessories and more from around the world.
Anishinaabe/Bear Clan, Michele has been a part of NATOA since its inception in 2006, volunteering for the initial six years and ultimately rising to CEO and President. She has more than quadrupled organizational revenue since becoming a full-time staff member in 2013 through memberships, sponsorships, and a commitment to fostering authentic relationships with long-term corporate partners. Michele continues to strive to make NATOA the centre of Excellence in Trust and Investment and making sure the needs of Indigenous Women and Indigenous Youth are being met.
Amidst keynotes and speaking engagements, Michele also co-wrote Unbreakable Spirit; a collaborative anthology of essays written by women who’ve overcome it all to reach success as they’ve defined it. She has been called upon by the press and influential organizations to weigh in on Indigenous issues. Michele volunteers on the Human Right Watch Gala Committee and the Board of Directors for the Canadian Juries Commission.
Michele has a proven track record of adapting and reacting to crisis and sustaining programming and revenue generation throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic. She credits her success to her relentless commitment to providing Indigenous communities, womxn, and youth with the tools to overcome barriers and access to ample resources and programs to help foster and maintain self-confidence and quality of life.