Rising Above 

Our Staff


Bonita Ledua, MA MAFT (Marriage and Family Therapy)
General Director

Bonita serves both as the director and a marriage and family counselor at Ishaawin. She enjoys working with family members of all ages as they engage in activities and play therapy, working to improve their family dynamics. She helps struggling couples improve their marriages and assists those experiencing psychological stress due to the trauma of childhood abuse, grief and loss, or difficulties with interpersonal relationships and/or life transitions.

Bonita also serves as the Executive Director of NorthWind Family Ministries. She and her husband, Bera, have developed two centres for Canadian Aboriginal children, youth and families over the past 25 years. Their programs incorporated recreation, counselling, life development and skills training, and biblical lessons.
Bonita enjoys hiking, camping, or just hanging out with her husband, four adult children, daughter-in-law, and any number of friends that come along.



Lisa Edwards 

Executive Assistant

Lisa brings skills from a varied work background including children’s ministry during her time working for a church in England, foodservice, and 10+ years of combined leadership and management experience. She is enthusiastic to be in a role that supports others in bringing healing to individual lives and communities.

Lisa enjoys travelling, reading, cooking, baking, and is refreshed by walks in nature. She has a creative streak that manifests in a love of photography and a passion for ethical fashion.

Julie McKenna, MA Counselling

Associate Counsellor

Julie received her Master of Arts in Counselling from Providence Seminary. She also earned a B.Sc. in Food Science and a Graduate Diploma in Education.  Originally from Sydney Australia, Julie moved to Thunder Bay in 1989 where she taught high school Science & Family Studies (primarily Food & Nutrition Sciences) for 25 years. She retired from teaching in 2015. Julie has experience in organizing and facilitating support groups. She started Celebrate Recovery in Thunder Bay and ran it for three years. She also helped establish and facilitate the Natural Helpers Student Peer Counsellor program in high schools across the city for seven years.

Julie has been a board member of New Life Ministries Thunder Bay since 2012. She also worked as program staff for two years in the women’s program at Hope House, providing emotional, mental, physical and spiritual support for residents. As a new staff member at Ishaawin, Julie is looking forward to formalizing her counselling practice with areas of focus including eating disorders, body image issues, depression and anxiety. Julie enjoys reading, expressing her creativity, and outdoor   activities such as hiking, cycling, kayaking and cross country skiing along. She also enjoys spending time with family, both near and far.

Rising Above Job Posting  : Executive Director

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