Métis entrepreneur Teara Fraser reaches new heights

Teara Fraser has been busy these past two decades. She got her pilot’s licence, then she was the first Indigenous woman in Canada to buy an airline – and now she owns two airline companies.

“We have just launched Elibird Aero which is an aero tech company. So what is an aerotech company? It’s all things innovation in aerospace and aviation,” said Fraser from her airport hangar in Delta, B.C., just outside Vancouver.

With the launch of Elibird Aero – Fraser, born in Hay River, Northwest Territories, has just ordered two electric motorized training aircraft – making her company the first in Canada to have zero emission aircraft as training units.

Elibird is Fraser’s second airline company having launched Iskwew Airline in 2018. It offers passenger and commercial service from Vancouver’s south terminal to Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island – Iskwew means woman in Cree and pays homage to her ancestry.

“With Iskwew Air we see ourselves as that bridge between traditional air transportation and the sustainable technology of the future,” she says. “So with Iskwew Air we were already looking at advanced air mobility all the ways that we can move towards zero emissions and we started doing so much of that exciting work that it deserved its own home and its own company so that we can do lot’s more to innovate in our industry.”

Along with owning two airline companies – Teara believes in giving back and inspiring the next generation of future pilots with her program called “Give Them Wings.” It allows indigenous youth an opportunity to use flight simulators and then see what flying is all about.

“So this is all about flight training so this is about helping folks discover the wonder of flight, the awe of flight and learning how to fly,” she said. “There is so many people who say ‘I have always wanted to learn how to fly’ and so we want to help them. “There is nothing more inspiring then seeing a tree from the sky and seeing the world flying is pretty cool.”

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