Business owner Teara Fraser is really taking off with her latest venture, Iskwew Air.
Iskwew Air recently began its first regularly scheduled service flying passengers between Qualicum Beach Airport and Vancouver International Airport (YVR). The inaugural scheduled flight from Qualicum was welcomed with traditional blessings upon touch down at YVR on August 17.
Teara Fraser is the first Indigenous woman to start her own airline, offering charter services to remote Indigenous communities in BC and maintenance services in addition to regularly scheduled flights.
She chose the name Iskwew which means “woman” in her ancestral Cree Language to celebrate lifting women. It was chosen as an act of reclamation of womanhood, matriarchal leadership and language.
Iskwew Air isn’t Teara’s first venture in the airline industry. As a pilot, Teara founded an aerial survey company in 2010 called Kisik, which provided specialized aerial image acquisition services and earned her an Indigenous Business Award in 2012.
Since those early days, Teara has been dedicated to encouraging Indigenous women to advance in aviation, science and technology. She’s encouraged Indigenous women entrepreneurs to support and lift each other up and initiated the Indigenous Lift Collective, to amplify and celebrate Indigenous female led businesses and create network opportunities for these entrepreneurs.
Driven by leadership and community, during COVID-19 Teara used her airline to help deliver essential goods to Indigenous communities affected by COVID-19.
She’s also been recognized as one of Business in Vancouver’s 500 most influential business leaders in BC in 2021 and received the WXN Award in 2019 as one of Canada’s Top 100 influential women who are first in their fields and have made a great contribution to Canadian Society.
Given her impact, it’s no wonder Teara has also been called a real-world Wonder Woman. Teara will soon be featured as a character in an upcoming DC Comics’ graphic novel, titled Wonderful Women of History, sharing stories of real heroes who change the world.
For more information and to book your next flight within BC, have a look at offerings by Iskwew Air.
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