Kathy Mallett is a proud Ojibwa and Cree woman born and raised in Winnipeg. She has been involved in the Winnipeg Indigenous community since the mid-1970s. During the 1980s, Mallett along with other Indigenous women developed a family support service organization to help inner city women and their children. Housing and childcare were important needs which resulted in the building of a family 42-unit housing co-op including a day care centre for children. Mallett worked for 10 years helping Indigenous women gain work skills, and assisted with studies on violence against Indigenous women in Winnipeg and needs for Indigenous women leaving prison and returning to their communities.
She was the co-director of the Community Education Development Association for five years. She was responsible for the operation of the Pathways to Education program along with other initiatives. One of the North End community initiatives was the redeveloped of the old Merchants Hotel on Selkirk Avenue resulting in its new purpose of becoming an educational hub and student housing. She first received recognition for her volunteer work by members of her community in 1985 when she was given the YWCA Woman of the Year award. In 1993, she received the Faculty of Social Work Anniversary Award. In the early 2000s, she received the Grassroots Women Award and the Manitoba Human Rights Commitment award. In the mid-2000s, she received the Order of Manitoba and Keeping the Fires Burning award. Lastly, she received the Errol Black Chair in Labour Issues recognition in 2015.