Melissa Harris

"My cultural background is Gitxsan. I am from the Geneda clan and my home land is Gitwangak. A part of my culture is to incorporate language and culture into my practice and share and pass down history and knowledge, known as Guxyeemsxw. Incorporating language and culture into programs and recognizing each child’s identity is apart of my philosophy. I have been able to connect with local land owners and with children’s families by singing, dancing, and drumming within the program. I have developed interest in ensuring that educators have understanding and exposure to diverse cultures into their work while incorporating a code of ethics, as well as indigenous learning resources such as the Indigenous Early Learning Framework, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action. I believe it’s vital that Educators share, learn, and listen to each other on how we can all work together for the better interest of all children and all programs no matter what setting"

MELISSA HARRISTAXTUUTS is a visitor living in the Tshimsian Territory in Terrace, BC.  She belongs to the Gitxsan nation, and is from the Community of Gitwangak, B.C. Melissa began her career in Early childhood education in 2012 completing the program in 2015. 

In 2017, she began advocating for Early Childhood Educators and families by participating in the local ECEBC branch and in local gatherings that supported families children, and educators. In 2020, through several years of leadership, training, connecting, and building relationships she took the lead role of Chair of the ECEBC Terrace branch.

Over the pandemic, managing a childcare facility, Melissa incorporated Culture and Traditions into an Urban childcare centre. This has been vital to providing rich early learning experiences while incorporating and learning with all diverse cultures of the North. 

The North provides a unique culture and drawing those aspects into curriculum is Melissa’s passion while learning on the land together with children. 

In 2022 Melissa connected with her home community to share knowledge and support for the early years Aboriginal Head Start.

Connect with Melissa Harris

Skeena River - Geneda Lax Yip | MH
Melissa Harris | Shelby M - Little Honeybee Photography