A pilot whose family is from Fort Chipewyan is now the first Indigenous woman to launch an airline in Canada.
Teara Fraser, the CEO of Iskwew Air, is getting ready take off from Vancouver International Airport next year.
The airline currently has just one plane that can seat eight passengers and plans to travel to remote areas in British Columbia and possibly Alberta.
Fraser, who currently lives in Vancouver, tells Mix News the idea came after the 2010 Olympics.
“There was a vision at that time to showcase B.C’s First Nations and showcase Canada’s Indigenous Peoples and there were conversations about transportation access into some of the smaller communities and that being a barrier.”
She says the idea crossed her mind to help connect these remote areas to bigger communities.
Fraser, who’s been a pilot for 15 years, also attributes her family living in Fort Chipewyan to one of the reasons why she wanted to fly airplanes.
“I can’t wait to fly to Fort Chipewyan and to see my family and I would say that it’s a fly-in community for much of the year and it’s communities like those that I care about ensuring they are able to get good services into their communities.”
The hope is the airline can expand to the point they can access more areas like the rural hamlets in the RMWB.
Over the next couple of months, Fraser says the plan is to reach out to interested communities.
“We’ll develop relationships with organizations- see where their best alignments, offer the charters and then there are plans to offer more destinations to more remote communities in the future.”
The first trip is scheduled to take place on March 8, 2019.