Women in Forestry 2022
March 8, 2022 at
On DEMANDSpeaker: Mélanie Paul, Co-President, Akua Nature and President, Inukshuk Synergie
Indigenous inclusion in forestry
Mélanie Paul is a frequent speaker and educator on entrepreneurial development of Indigenous women, Indigenous workforce inclusion in Quebec, and on the creation of partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous. Her presentation will explore the unique perspective First Nations employees and companies bring to the forest industry, and what Indigenous inclusion means for everyone.
Mélanie Paul is the president of Inukshuk Synergy, co-president and executive director of Akua Nature, and co-founder of ‘Cercle Moccasins et Talons Hauts’
Melanie has more than 20 years of experience in the world of business. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Université Laval and joined the family business in 2002 where she carried out various roles. In 2013, Mélanie studied specific business and management courses at the UQUAC before registering at the École d’Entrepreneurship de Beauce (EEB). In 2015, Mélanie was the first Indigenous graduate of the EEB.
Mélanie has a long list of business and social commitments she has been involved in over the past years. She was vice-president of the Société de Développement Economique Ilnu, co-president of the Roberval Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In 2015, she accepted the role of ambassador for the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean Region as part of the Prospérité Québec campaign. She worked on the campaign launched by the Conseil du Patronat du Québe’.
She was named as the president of the First Nations Table by the Couillard government following the Regional Economic Summit held in 2015.
In May 2018, she won the Entrepreneur of Year Award from the Conseil du Patronat du Quebec.
In 2019, she joined a committee to create a research report and recommendations to improve Quebec’s inclusion of the Indigenous workforce.
In November 2020, she was recognized by Femmessor among 100 businesswomen in Québec who are changing the world in respect to the sustainable objectives of the UN.
In the past few years, she has taken part in major events as a speaker and educator with specific knowledge and experiences on entrepreneurial development of Indigenous women, Indigenous workforce inclusion in Quebec, and on the creation of partnerships betweenIndigenous and non-Indigenous.
Proud mom of three kids – Guillaume (27), Aurélie (21), Mélina (16) – she cherishes deep values that have guided her and she wishes to share those same values with them in the same way they guided First Nations for a millennia: solidarity, mutual aid, sharing, self-respect, respect for others as well as the respect of the nature.
There is a common thread throughout the numerous activities in which she has been involved, which is to change people’s perceptions. In every field in which she has worked, Mélanie never hesitated to say that she is Indigenous as a way to demonstrate that First Nations are represented, that they can succeed in business and are willing to work in partnership with non- Indigenous, because being Indigenous is not a constraint, it is an identity.