NationTalk sits down with Melinda Commanda, Indigenous Liaison Advisor – Centre for Indigenous Statistics and Partnerships, Social, Health & Labour Statistics, Statistics Canada to discuss the challenges of the upcoming census during the Covid-19 pandemic. Melinda Commanda is an Ojibway woman and a member of the Serpent River First Nation, raised in the city of Toronto but has also lived in many parts of Ontario such as Red Lake, Thunder Bay, Serpent River First Nation and now lives in Sudbury. She has 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren.
Melinda’s extensive career and education has given her the ability to work in a variety of areas. While completing her Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree, she took many native studies courses and statistical courses that focused on quantitative and qualitative research, and data analysis. Melinda has taken a number of varied workshops and training activities, which complement her education and experience.
Working with Statistics Canada since 2000, Melinda is currently an Indigenous Liaison Advisor with the department. She has assisted in the on-reserve collection of the Census in a variety of roles, such as Advisor, Field Operations Supervisor, and First Nations Manager.
Melinda has also worked as an employee and an independent consultant for Indigenous organizations. Her work makes use of her excellent communication, analytical, and organizational skills. Melinda volunteers her time to a variety of non-profit organizations either as a board member, chairperson, or an advocate.
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