Monday, December 18, 2017
 
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Keepers of the Organization

Executive Director & Keeper

Lisa Raven
Wanipigow, MB

One of the most experienced and powerful trainers, Lisa Raven is also the Executive Director of Returning to Spirit. She has been pivotal to the growing insights about the power and possibility of the workshops among Aboriginal youth. She led the Hollow Water First Nations youth pilot, which is now being implemented in parts of Manitoba and B.C.

After a career in forest management, Lisa found her calling as an RTS trainer and leader. Her personal story of transformation after having taking the workshops is one of the most powerful you will hear. She is deeply honoured and inspired by courage and grace of people willing to move forward from what has been keeping them stuck in life.

Trainer Admin Keeper

Francois Paradis
Winnipeg, MB


Francois has been a tireless and passionate supporter of the reconciliation work for almost a decade. A strong advocate of RTS work, Francois oversees all areas relating to quality curricula and trained trainers. His activities include managing the participant evaluation process and development of all programs including the Trainer Development Program, the Seminar Leaders Development Program, and the Youth Leadership Development Program.

A certified RTS trainer, Francois works in close collaboration with the other Keepers, to ensure that all programs are well promoted and accessed.

Regional Project Coordinator/Financial Keeper

Dianne Little
Winnipeg, MB


Dianne was born in Seattle, WA and was raised in rural Manitoba. Surrounded by stories of her Scottish ancestors, she developed a fascination with history. Her first introduction to reconciliation came from these early stories and interpretations of Canadian history. Dianne delved further into the world of restorative justice during her time working for several non-profits. At this point, her passion increased for the process of victim/offender reconciliation and she set forth to become certified conflict mediator. In 2012, she participated in a “life-changing” RTS workshop and made the decision to follow her heart by leaving a successful career in financial services.

Dianne currently studies Conflict Resolution with The University of Winnipeg, Menno Simons College with an emphasis on program evaluation. She is a volunteer mediator with Mediation Services, and is working to become a certified RTS trainer.

Trainer Keeper & Communications Keeper

Jacques Lafrance, 
Lorette, MB

Originally from Hearst Ontario, Jacques has lived in Manitoba for the last 30 years. He is the General Manager of Light of the Prairies, a retreat and conference centre situated south-east of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He eclectic interests and hobbies include beekeeping, woodworking, and singing in two choirs. He is deeply passionate about life-giving projects.

Jacques took his first RTS Workshop in 2007. The workshop was the beginning of a transformational journey that he continues today "I have experienced a true Reconciliation between First-Nation and non First-Nation people – a relationship I have come to love," Now, he facilitates workshops as a certified trainer as well as contributes to the RTS training program, communication and special events. "At the heart of my life is a deep desire to contribute in creating a better world by the way I live and by the choices I make."

Programming Keeper

Gigi Jakobs
Nanaimo, BC


Gigi was born and raised in northwestern British Columbia and developed a love of nature at an early age. After earning degrees in Geology and Theology, Gigi worked as a Pastoral Assistant in Prince George for several years. It was during that time, in 2007, that she took the Returning Spirit workshop and experienced the truth in “Alter your conversation, alter your life”.
 
Gigi is a certified trainer with RTS and has also been involved in the communications, fund development and administrative aspects of the organization. After a sabbatical, Gigi has stepped back into RTS as Keeper of the funder, donor, partner and participant relationship database. She is also involved in curriculum development and training.

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