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 in order for them to build and manage self-sustainable Trusts. Michele is also the owner of MYC Design, a jewelry company she started so she could have the ability to give back more to Indigenous Youth.
Anishinaabe/Bear Clan, Michele has been a part NATOA since its inception in 2006, volunteering for the initial 6 years and ultimately rising to CEO. 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 as well as 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 major organizations to weigh in on Indigenous issues. Michele volunteers on the Human Right Watch Gala Committee, Indigenous Education Advisory Circle as the co-chair for the Durham Catholic District School board and the Board of Directors for the Canadian Juries Commission. She will also be pursuing her EMBA in 2021.
Michele has a proven track record of adapting and reacting to crisis and was able to sustain programming and revenue generation throughout this year’s COVID-19 Pandemic. She credits her success to her relentless commitment to providing Indigenous communities, women, 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.