BCAC Board Member Launches Iskwew Air

Mar 8, 2019

(VANCOUVER – March 8, 2019) – Today, Iskwew Air, Canada’s first airline founded and owned by an Indigenous woman, announces its launch out of YVR’s South Terminal. The airline will begin providing charter services in the coming weeks and has a vision to provide scheduled service to communities across the province in the future, increasing accessibility to transportation and bolstering Indigenous tourism.

“We intentionally chose to launch on International Women’s Day,” says Iskwew Air CEO, Teara Fraser. “Iskwew (pronounced ISS-KWAY-YO) is the Cree word for woman and the airline was mindfully named as an act of the reclamation of womanhood, matriarchal leadership, and language. Indigenous women have been matriarchs, leaders, knowledge keepers, strategists, healers, and sophisticated entrepreneurs since time immemorial. By including and amplifying these important and powerful voices we can see a whole new
future full of innovation, strength and economic prosperity.”

Iskwew Air celebrates all women, and those who champion them, and seeks to attract and inspire female pilots to the industry. In addition to today’s launch, Iskwew Air is also announcing a new partnership with Indigenous Works to provide a program called Give Them Wings – an initiative to inspire Indigenous youth of all genders to take flight with a career in aviation.

“We are facing a looming human resource shortage in the aviation industry. There is potential for this shortage to have significant impacts on Indigenous communities should commercial providers find themselves unable to service remote and Northern routes,” says Heather Bell, Chair, BC Aviation Council. “Give Them Wings is an initiative that will inspire Indigenous youth to engage with the aviation sector, discover how they might earn their “wings” and perhaps determine that a career in aviation could be their personal flight path. The need is real, the time is now; it is vital that programs like Give Them Wings exist.”

The program offers youth, their families and communities the opportunity to explore the wonder of flight and learn more about aviation and a career as a pilot as well as in other areas of aviation. The program’s first event will take place on Saturday, March 16 at Boundary Bay (CZBB), Delta.

For more information about booking charters, visit Iskwew.ca and for more information about Give Them Wings, visit givethemwings.ca.

Iskwew Air is Canada’s first airline founded and owned by an Indigenous woman. Iskwew Air’s vision is to connect people with each other and to the land. The company values the warrior spirit, love and adventure, and reclamation and reciprocity. Iskwew Air will provide a cultural experience to passengers from the moment
they check-in, until they reach their destination.


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