Retreat offers indigenous perspective for women

Retreat aims to expand the network of women leaders

Organizers of the Intercultural Leadership Retreat for Women are eager to welcome more participants from the West Shore.

Langford resident Janis Jonasen said she hopes more women from the West Shore and throughout the Capital Region will participate in the retreat because of the unique opportunities it provides.

The event, which takes place April 8 to 10 in Ladysmith, offers an indigenous perspective on the history and current impact of colonization.

Other goals include facilitating the exploration of personal biases and value systems to promote meaningful relationships, helping create personal plans to apply to new learning at work and in the community, and expanding the network of women leaders from many sectors in the community.

“It’s an opportunity for people of all cultures to develop practical skills that encourage and embrace diversity,” said Jonasen, a member of the Gitxan First Nation, who has a masters of arts in leadership and training.

Jonasen believes there are many women who may not be aware that they are in leadership roles, and the retreat will provide a vehicle that will empower them to share the benefits of what they learn with their communities.

Collaborative artist Crystal Charlotte Easton will create a painting to capture thoughts and feelings from the retreat to serve as a reminder that the ideas participants share are meant to be put into action.

Jonasen will co-facilitate the retreat with Samantha Letourneau, who has a masters degree in global studies and human rights and won the Marie Gillen Award for research into the effects of art engagement on Canadian women impacted by abuse in 2015.

For more information on the retreat or to register, go to and click on Intercultural Leadership Retreat for Women under events.

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