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Lisa Bengtsson was born in 1951. She grew up in Naikina, Ontario–a single industry rail town. From 1974-2007, Lisa Bengtsson worked for the Secretary of State, Women’s Program, for the Northwestern Ontario district—the region in Ontario bordered by Manitoba, White River, and James Bay.
Lisa Bengtsson delivered human rights-based programs, including the Aboriginal Women’s Program, the Friendship Centre Program, the Voluntary Action Program, and the Disabled Persons Program. In the mid-1990s, she transferred from the Secretary of State to Employment and Immigration. Finally she moved to the Status of Women Canada. Her work focussed on project funding, skill development, organizational development, strategic planning, action research, and advocacy.
Lisa Bengtsson was also a program officer for organizations such as the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses and the Ontario Native Women’s Association. She participated in issue-based partnerships with local Thunder Bay organizations, such as women’s training opportunities, (1992-94), family violence, (1978-85), and women in conflict with the law, (2003-2006).
Lisa Bengtsson undertook a major post audit of family violence funding (1989) and managed the Northwestern Ontario Secretary of State district office, (mid-1980s). She also managed the Women’s Program, Ontario Region, (mid-1990s.) She served on internal committees at the national level concerning the prevention of family violence, (1991-92,1997).
Lisa Bengtsson’s volunteer and professional work were grounded in the Secretary of State mandate, “to increase citizen’s participation in decisions affecting the quality of their lives.” In 2005, Lisa Bengtsson was awarded the Ontario Federal Council Leadership Through Collaboration Award, as a result of her partnership with the Equay Wuk Women’s Group of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation.