Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women 2019 Esquao Awards Gala on May 10, 2019 at River Cree Resort & Casino.

2019 Esquao Awards

  • Esquao Awards, IAAW
  • Esquao Awards, IAAW
  • Esquao Awards, IAAW
  • Esquao Awards, IAAW
  • Esquao Awards, IAAW
  • Esquao Awards
  • Esquao Awards


The Esquao Awards is the largest gathering to honour Aboriginal Women in Canada. It is unique because it the community nominates the women, and the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (IAAW) coordinates the ceremony to honour them.  The Esquao Awards highlight the significant role Aboriginal women hold in their home, in the healing and development of their city/town/hamlet/reserve/settlement and in the building of Alberta. To date 456 women have received Esquao Awards, from over 90 communities.

The Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (IAAW) is a non-profit organization that delivers programs and advocates for systemic changes that support the inclusion, skill development and recognition of Aboriginal women in Alberta. Current programs include financial literacy, increasing safety, and supports to women coming out of correctional institutions. The Esquao Awards is part of a larger leadership development and training program that includes advancing Aboriginal women into more decision-making roles.

This year we are expecting approximately 600 people from across Alberta. Many corporations, government departments and Aboriginal organizations support these awards to recognize the accomplishments of Aboriginal Women. This is the 24th annual event. We are expecting Ministers, Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA), Métis and First Nation leaders, other dignitaries and media to attend. IAAW is based in Edmonton with reach to several outlying communities to provide training, host gatherings and action planning. If you have meal requirements or have any other ticket questions, please email

Doors open at 4:00. Opening ceremony starts promptly at 5:00pm, as the event is televised. Presentations are given in groups with entertainment intertwined throughout the night. Event concludes at 9:30pm.


Local media are expected to cover the event. If you don’t want to be in promotional pictures, please identify yourself at the main reception.

Gifts/Door Prizes/Silent Auction/Artisans

Recipients will receive a gift bag of donated items and door prizes are drawn during the event.  There will also be a silent auction and 50-50. Women from our programs will sell their crafts at the IAAW table inside the Entertainment Centre.


The River Cree Casino has parking in the rear of the building close to the arena. The closest door is on the west side of the hotel. Click here for a map of the location.

Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women
18104 – 102 Avenue, Edmonton AB T5S 1S7
Phone 1-877-471-2171 | Toll Free or 780-479-8195 | Fax: 780-471-2169,
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