Melissa (Mel) Compton,


Acting Director

Hello, Kwe’, Teluisi Melgignat Miti’s Mjijamij. Tle’iawi K’taqamkuk, wigi Tkaronto.

This is Mel, a mixed urban Mi’kmaq, Scottish and Irish person living in Toronto. Their spirit name loosely translates to ‘Strong Tree Spirit’ and she is part of the Caribou clan.

Mel is a multilateral artist who uses lived experience, artwork and therapeutic skills to develop and facilitate specialized youth programs within the urban setting. Mel is an X (Ryerson) University alumnus in the Child and Youth Care program and was the first graduate of the Aboriginal Knowledges and Experiences certificate. Their knowledge comes from lived experiences and from a vast amount of facilitation and program development.

Mel aims to embed CYC therapeutic perspective into all programs to provide an environment of skill development, positive identity and engagement. Her work over the last 15 years (as a peer support, frontline case manager, anti-human trafficking counsellor and Program development specialist) has enhanced her ability to create consistent therapeutic programming while also co-facilitating activities at conferences, survivor lead initiatives and youth harm reduction programs. She has developed training that has been provided to child welfare, frontline case managers, hospital staff, Victims Services and crisis counsellors. Mel has been on several panels, spoken at conferences and has provided guest lectures/training at X University, York University and YouthRex. Mel has also developed education sessions and training around ‘Indigenous history & connections to human trafficking’ that was provided to foster parents and caregivers as well to non-Indigenous agencies to support the growth and understanding of the unique needs of the Urban Indigenous population.

Mel’s role at IYR is to ensure Culture and Wellness is integrated into programming in a way that is accessible, engaging, inspires connection and fosters a stronger sense of identity with self. She is excited for the journey that lies ahead with you while you engage at IYR.