Canada: Sakyadhita National Branches

Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women Canada Branch

Shirley “Jayanta” Johannesen of Calgary, Alberta, was asked by the late Ayya Khema (one of the founding members of Sakyadhita) in 1987 to be the Canadian representative of Sakyadhita. Jayanta accepted the position and has been involved in many aspects of the Canadian branch activities, as well as in the international organization. She has volunteered her time at international conferences, given presentations, led workshops and guided meditations. In 1991, as part of SI, she formed the Calgary Dharma Women’s Forum, a support group of women from all Buddhist traditions. As Buddhist values were put into action in the local communities, participants' leadership skills were developed and networking was extended to other Buddhist women both in Canada and internationally.

In recent years, Sakyadhita International has taken a step forward in strengthening and formalizing its worldwide network and requested Jayanta to coordinate the development and the incorporation of Sakyadhita Canada. Sakyadhita Canada is now the official Canadian branch as well as a member of Sakyadhita International. The SC board of directors is extremely excited about the possibilities and potentialities of organizing Canadian women across all Buddhist traditions. Sakyadhita Canada was registered as a Not-For-Profit association in November 2009 and was granted Charitable Status with Canada Revenue Agency in 2011.

Sakyadhita Canada will holding their annual general meeting in April 2014. Please visit their website for more information.

Sakyadhita Canada's Mission

• To establish an alliance of ordained and lay Buddhist women in Canada
• To create a network of communication for Canadian Buddhist women
• To support the establishment of Canadian chapters of Sakyadhita Canada
• To support the objectives of Sakyadhita International
• To promote harmony and dialogue among all Buddhist traditions and other religions
• To encourage research and publication on topics of interest to Buddhist women
• To foster compassionate social action for the benefit of humanity
• To promote world peace and harmony through the teachings of the Buddha

Sakyadhita Canada's Representatives

Current Board of Directors

Shirley "Jayanta" Johannesen
Vice President,
Sister Tinh Quang
Bena Patel
Leslie Brown

Susan Pesut

Members at Large
Patricia Galaczy
Ja Eun Sunim
Dr. Mavis Fenn



Working at the grassroots level, Sakyadhita provides a communications network among Buddhist women internationally. We promote research and publications on Buddhist women's history and other topics of interest. Our members strive to create equal opportunities for women in all Buddhist traditions. Read More

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