Retreat focuses on Leadership for Women

Janis Jonason and Samantha Letourneau will lead a retreat at the Kiwi Cove Lodge

A group of women, working with facilitators Janis Jonasen and Samantha Letourneau, will be getting together at the Kiwi Cove Lodge in Ladysmith April 8 to 10 to explore the idea of “Intercultural Leadership”

And for readers who may be thinking, “I’m not in a leadership role,” Jonasen has a word of encouragement. “When you step forward in your community, you’re automatically putting yourself in a leadership role,” she said.

The point being, there are lots of people in leadership roles who don’t even know it; and many who could benefit – along with their communities – by learning some new techniques.

Jonasen, a member of the Gitxan First Nation, holds a Master of Arts degree in Leadership and Training; Letourneau a Master in Adult Education and a BA in Global Studies – she received the Marie Gillen Award in 2015 for her research into the effects of art engagement on Canadian women impacted by abuse.

The retreat will focus partly on indigenous perspectives on ‘respectful intercultural relationships’ in light of ‘the history and current impact of colonization.’ “How we address that is just one piece,” Jonasen said.

Jonasen said a focus on women is a good starting point for her and Letourneau – and for communities.

Women are often in leadership roles built on relationships. “I think there’s an innate drive for women to foster relationships,” she said, adding that there’s ‘absolutely’ an interest in workshops or retreats that will include men.

Collaborative artist Crystal Charlotte Easton will translate thoughts and feelings from the sessions into a painting, which will serve as a reminder to participants that the ideas they share are meant to be put into action.

“We’re going to go over ways for you to implement what you’ve learned in your communities,” Jonasen said.

For more information and to register for the retreat go to, click on Intercultural Leadership Retreat for Women under the Events menu item, and then the ‘Register Now’ link on the description page.

You can contact Jonasen at


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