Leslie Williamson

Leslie Williamson 
Orineida Coaching and Training
OTDC ACE-IT Graduate

Leslie Williamson is a graduate of OTDC ACE-IT and an entrepreneur who has been teaching for over 28 years with her company Orineida Coaching and Training. She travels to remote Indigenous communities within Canada to deliver workshops and coaching to various audiences. Leslie has a lot of experience teaching nonviolent communication, and she holds a ‘Nonviolent Communication Trainer’ certification. What drives Leslie and her business forward is her strong desire to contribute to world peace by first supporting inner peace. After living through a violent childhood, Leslie no longer wanted to carry and experience violence in her life, which drove her to start Orineida Coaching and Training and get her certification as a Nonviolent Communication Trainer. She describes her work with Orineida as her calling, purpose, and passion in life.

Leslie came to the I-ACE program with the intention of learning more about the technical aspects of running her business; she also wanted to further develop her facilitation strategy given the travel restraints emerging due to COVID-19. She explains how pleased she was to learn about I-ACE and that there is finally a “program for Indigenous people to be entrepreneurs, to support them, and show them how to launch.” An Indigenous-tailored and community delivered program was something that Leslie has wished for over the years. She recognizes the potential and wisdom that is alive in so many Indigenous people, and she explains that the I-ACE program provides an opportunity to show others “what we know and what we can offer.”

Leslie and her family are part of the Vuntut Gwitchin people, or "people of the lakes," who harvest in Old Crow Flats' territory. She describes her grandmother, who was born on a trapline on Old Crow Flats, and how she comes from a brave and "strong bloodline of women." Her mom spent 10 years of her childhood in a residential school; Leslie says that her mom inspires her because of her bravery through the "violence that [they] lived through." Life hasn't been easy for Leslie and her family, but she describes it as a "gift" because she has been able to harness these experiences and "share tools for healing and peace within." She has been able to better engage in the healing process by being vulnerable to her feelings, following her heart, and changing the inner dialogue to evoke courage and strength.

Leslie’s business, Orinelida Coaching and Training, offers various workshops that explore important matters with an aim to evoke self-reflection and healing. For one, she coaches about the “values of the heart” because, as she explains, the “ego isn’t always in alignment with what we say we value.” She focuses on digging deep and acknowledging what the heart is saying and the feelings that come with greater self-awareness.

Her non-violent communication workshop is one of her most popular offerings. In this workshop Leslie helps to unravel trauma. When describing her work, she briefly explains: “those who are traumatized move away from the heart because it is too difficult to be there.” Her mission is to “offer tools to regulate the feelings and the mind.” She works to draw awareness to one’s feelings as a way to move past trauma and “break the spiral of pain.” Some of the workshops that she offers include non-violent communication, understanding lateral violence, and supporting lateral kindness.

Leslie’s vision is to contribute to “social change, to role model and promote peace, to resolve conflict and trauma, and to create safety for children.” Through Leslie’s experience running her company, she reveals that being an entrepreneur takes confidence and that you have to put yourself out there and “believe that you have something of value to offer.” She hopes to see more Indigenous people taking entrepreneurial flight as they build their confidence and harness their potential.

During the I-ACE program, Leslie learned new skills and techniques that will help her propel her business forward. She learned about the role of the internet and technology in e-commerce and how she can tailor her offerings to potentially provide training packages. We at the I-ACE program are grateful to have been a part of Leslie’s journey. We hope she continues to share her wisdom and positively impact the lives of those around her through her coaching. If you are interested in learning more about Leslie or her workshops, please visit the links below:



Photo Gallery 

Left: Taken in Whitehorse YT, on a paddle wheel boat used to carry people and cargo. 
Middle: Leslie used to drum to open the day when teaching.
Right: Leslie wearing a wolf skin.

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